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- Canadian Museum of Nature Receives International Architecture Award
Canadian Museum of Nature Receives International Architecture Award
Ottawa, August 2, 2011—The newly renovated public exhibitions site of the Canadian Museum of Nature has received a prestigious award from an international architecture competition.
The museum's Victoria Memorial Museum Building is among 90 projects from 30 countries—and one of only three in Canada—to be recognized by the 2011 International Architecture Awards. This annual competition is presented by the European Center for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies and the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design.
The announcement follows an earlier award of excellence bestowed in May 2011 by the Ontario Association of Architects.
"These recognitions reflect the successful effort to restore and modernize one of Canada's significant national heritage buildings," says Margaret Beckel, the museum's President and CEO. "With new features such as the Queens' Lantern overlooking the entrance, the architectural team has transformed a museum for the 21st-century in a historic setting. The result not only serves to entice visitors interested in nature and the environment, but also draws architecture and history enthusiasts."
The museum's $216 million renovation from 2004 to 2010 ensured that the infrastructure of the 100-year-old historic site was upgraded to meet modern building and seismic codes. Major heritage components were respectfully restored. Museum-standard environmental controls, a shipping-receiving facility, renewed rentals and events spaces, and visitor amenities including food and retail services were introduced to meet functional requirements.
Since the reopening in May 2010, more than 650 000 visitors have flocked to the museum's new galleries about Canada's natural environments. Visitors are also enjoying Extreme Mammals, a travelling exhibition from the American Museum of Natural History, on view until November 6, 2011. Starting in March 2012, visitors will be able to immerse themselves in Whales: Tohorā from Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.
The renovations, funded by the Government of Canada, were led by the museum in collaboration with PKG Joint Venture Architects, a joint-venture consortium comprising three notable Canadian firms: Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects in Toronto; Barry Padolsky Associates Inc. Architects in Ottawa; and Gagnon, Letellier, Cyr, Ricard, Mathieu Architectes in Québec. PCL Constructors Inc. were the general contractors.
The complete list of winning buildings and urban planning projects for the 2011 awards can be seen at http://chi-athenaeum.org/intarch/index.html.
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Senior Media Relations Officer
Canadian Museum of Nature