Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, Diller Scofidio + Renfro Among Shortlist for Vancouver Art Gallery

Site of the future Vancouver Art Gallery. Image Courtesy of

In an odd twist of fate, the architects of the soon-to-be-demolished American Folk Art Museum, Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, and the architects spearheading the MoMA redesign (that will require its demolition), Diller Scofidio + Renfro, will soon compete to design the Vancouver Art Gallery. Joining them on the impressive shortlist are Herzog & de Meuron, KPMB Architects, and SANAA. More after the break.

The Gallery hopes that the new building, which will provide for the museum’s growth in collections, exhibitions, and attendance by adding new educational facilities and expanding indoor/outdoor exhibition spaces, will further become a symbol of Vancouver’s transformation as a global center of cultural production.

The Gallery selected the shortlist based on each firm’s ability to address this principal objective: “to create an architecturally significant visual art museum that places prominence on artists and art and that celebrates the rich cultural context of Vancouver.”

According to Bruce Munro Wright, Chair of the Gallery’s Board of Trustees and Chair of the Architect Selection Committee. “Each firm we selected is recognized for innovation and excellence in creating new spaces for engagement with arts and culture, and each demonstrated a strong and creative architectural vision that would support our mission and enhance Vancouver’s standing as one of the most exciting international centres of cultural production.”

All five firms boast a prestigious pedigree in museum design: Pritzker prize winners Herzog de Meuron of course made their name with their redesign of the Tate Modern in London; fellow Pritzker holders have most recently been receiving accolades and acclaim for the Louvre Lens in Paris; KPMB Architects – the only Canadian contender – is considered one of Canada’s leading architectural firms, particularly in cultural design. However, due to recent events, all eyes may just be on the proposals from New York firms Diller Scofidio + Renfro, known for their sensitive work on the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts and now their – arguably – less sensitive expansion for MoMA, and , known for their loved and fated American Folk Art Museum.

The Gallery will conduct in-person interviews with each of the finalists in the coming months. The final architect is expected to be announced in spring 2014.

More info on the Vancouver Art Gallery’s redevelopment here.

Cite: Quirk, Vanessa. "Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, Diller Scofidio + Renfro Among Shortlist for Vancouver Art Gallery" 09 Jan 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed 17 Sep 2014. <>


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    Can’t wait to see the DS+R design, I heard it was the same as the Williams Tsien proposal but with a stake through the heart.

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    Very exciting to see all entries, considering Vancouver’s my hometown. It’s about time Vancouver revamps its architecture, we have a few notable projects like Foster, Safdie, and now BIG, but I’m hopeful for more architecturally sensitive development going on, and not the kind that’s going on right now.

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