Art gallery short-lists architects for possible makeover

The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria will hear three teams of architects describe their ideas on how to upgrade the Rockland facility later this month.

The groups were shortlisted after the 1040 Moss St. gallery published a request for proposals in November on ways to refurbish the 23,000-square-feet property, where space is tight and only a small portion of the collection can be displayed.

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Although the gallery had earlier estimated improvements and an expansion at $14 million, the cost is not yet known, John Tupper, gallery director, said Wednesday. A capital campaign is expected if the gallery proceeds with plans.

The gallery had previously considered relocating to find more space for its collection, which is valued at more than $100 million. But that plan was set aside because it was not seen as a good time to find another site and to take on the expenses associated with that, Tupper said last year.

De Hoog & Kierulf Architects of Victoria and Public Architecture of Vancouver are among the shortlisted teams. The 93-unit Mondrian condominium at Cook and Johnson streets is one example of de Hoog and Kierulf’s work. That building was inspired by the late Dutch abstract artist Piet Mondrian.

Also on the list is IWPAC Lang Wilson Practice in Arch Culture of Vancouver, working with Moore Architecture of Victoria. Moore’s projects include the Victoria International Airport improvements from 1998-2011 and Dragon Alley in downtown Victoria.

Number Ten Architectural Group of Victoria is teaming with 5468796 Architecture of Winnipeg. Last year, 5468796’s art project called Migrating Landscapes represented Canada at the Venice Biennale in Architecture. Migrating Landscapes explored how Canadians express diverse cultural memories in the way we live and build, a Canada Council for the Arts statement said.

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