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Canadian Museum of Nature

10 May 2012



2.5 ConEd learning hours

The Canadian Museum of Nature (CMN) was the first purpose built museum in the country. The original building – known as the Victoria Memorial Museum Building (VMMB) - was designed in the Beaux-Arts Style by David Ewart. Shortly after its completion in 1912, the stone tower began to sink.  The upper part of the tower was removed, leaving the base as the main entrance vestibule but diminishing the building’s original composition and clarity of plan.

The revitalization project showcases the original heritage building, using contemporary architecture to generate a dialogue between past and present.  The most visible intervention is a glazed Lantern element that restores the original proportion of the main entrance and creates a super-scale display unit. With the lantern, a new butterfly stair resolves the original circulation system which was disconnected when the tower was removed.  Designed by Padolsky, Kuwabara, Gagnon Joint Venture Architects (PKG): Barry Padolsky Associates Inc., Architects Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects, Gagnon, Letellier, Cyr, Ricard, Mathieu Architectes, the stunning project is the winner of a 2011 OAA Design Excellence Award. Join architect Barry Padolsky  for a tour of this project.