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Old Posted Jun 29, 2018, 7:44 AM
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Winnipeg | Inuit Art Centre

Location: Winnipeg, MB
MICHAEL MALTZAN ARCHITECTURE http://www.mmaltzan.com/projects/win...it-art-centre/
Client: Winnipeg Art Gallery http://inuit.wag.ca/
Size: 40,000 sq. ft. Addition to existing art gallery facility
Completed: 2020 (targeted)
Budget: $65 M

The new Inuit Art Centre (IAC) at the Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG) in Winnipeg, Manitoba will house the Gallery’s celebrated collection of contemporary Inuit art and provide new facilities for an expanded studio art and educational program. The 40,000 square-foot addition to the iconic existing building by Gustavo da Roza faces south toward the Manitoba Legislature building in downtown Winnipeg, and will include new galleries, a lecture theatre, research areas, and a visible art storage vault. With a collection of nearly 13,000 works of Inuit art, the WAG has had a long and continuous commitment to the research, exhibition, and publication of art by the Canadian Inuits. The IAC will be the largest exhibition gallery in Canada devoted to indigenous art.

40,000-square-foot cultural landmark

This world-class cultural landmark is designed by Michael Maltzan Architecture, one of North America’s leading firms, renowned for creating thriving spaces with virtual connections that shape how we experience the world. Maltzan was selected through an international architectural competition, which had 63 submissions from 13 countries, and is working with Manitoba’s Cibinel Architecture Ltd.

The WAG Inuit Art Centre will be connected to the main building by bridges on all levels.


The design centers on double-height visible Inuit Vault located immediately adjacent to the IAC entry on the corner of St. Mary’s Avenue and Memorial Boulevard. The vault’s curved glass walls extend from floor to ceiling and include shelving that follows the curvature of the enclosure. Additional vault storage, accessible by a stairwell connecting to the visible vault, is located in the building’s lower level. The vault interior will be accessible to curators and scholars while the public will be able to look into the storage room from the Inuit Vault Lobby. A new lecture room, café, and reading room will be adjacent to the lobby providing educational and research spaces in close proximity to the Visible Vault. The ground level design also includes minor modifications to the existing building that includes a new gallery shop.

LEVEL 1 & 2

In this dynamic theatre, live performers, educators, speakers and Elders will take the stage to share their knowledge and voices. Students will come face-to-face with exciting new learning possibilities as virtual technology connects them to classrooms across the North. From here, they can watch a carver working in Baker Lake and listen to stories being told by an Elder from Arviat.

From inside the theatre, visitors will look out to see collections and the carving porch, where artists will work in full view.


The expansive, light-filled Inuit Gallery on the building’s third level provides 8,500 square feet of open, flexible exhibition space dedicated to the display of Inuit art. The voluminous gallery is intended to reflect the natural environments of the North, the setting in which much of the art is created. The monumental, sculptural walls evoke the immense geographic features that are the background of many Inuit towns and inlets. Figural skylights in the ceiling suffuse the gallery with light from the broad spectrum of the sky creating an ethereal illumination that focuses the viewer on the Inuit Art in the gallery. An Indigenous Gallery on the upper roof level and open to the Inuit Gallery below, will honor the Inuit and other aboriginal peoples of the North providing an open space for exhibitions, public performances, private celebrations, or quiet meditation.


Education studios and classrooms are concentrated at the WAG’s penthouse level, providing students access to the large roof terrace. New education spaces include a dedicated education lobby and reception, clay studio, kiln room, and two exterior studios for summer and winter activities, such as stone carving and ice sculpting.

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Old Posted Jun 29, 2018, 7:57 AM
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Winnipeg’s Inuit Art Centre a world first
Myron Love June 28, 2018

Work has begun on a major new cultural development in downtown Winnipeg.

In late May, the ceremonial shovels hit the ground to launch construction of the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s (WAG) $65-million Inuit Art Centre.

The WAG has the world’s largest collection of Inuit art.

The new Inuit Art Centre, adjacent to the current WAG, which is located in the city’s downtown and just a stone’s throw away from the Manitoba Legislative Building, will allow the gallery to house all of its 14,000 pieces of Inuit Art in one location.

The 40,000-square-foot, four-storey centre will be the first building of its kind in the world.

The new facility will be connected to the main gallery by bridges and will be the largest single space devoted to Inuit art, culture and history.

Tammy Sawatzky, the WAG’s public relations co-ordinator, reports that PCL Constructors Canada Inc. is the contractor of record on the project.

Considering the project’s location, she points out there are “some significant challenges to the construction, starting with the site being very tight and the immediate adjacency to two very busy streets,” she says. “It will be critical that construction sequencing be planned so as to allow the maximum amount of trades to be onsite in a safe and productive manner at any given time.”

To meet those challenges, she reports, the construction management team has opted to use a tower crane and incorporating street lanes within the construction site to add to the flexibility of construction and lay down space for materials.

She notes mechanical, electrical and glazing subcontractors have been procured through a public design assist process and these subcontractors are included as partners in refining details.

“An example of this collaboration,” she points out, “is the stunning vertical vault located in the Inuit Hall for which there are no comparatives.”

The undulating two-storey curved glass structure is a design and construction challenge that not only is structurally complex but needs to maintain the strict environmental controls associated with a vault containing high value art objects.

“The team is working as a group with contributions from all partners in refining design details, utilizing the latest technology and searching worldwide for the best materials to ensure the architectural vision is met while maintaining the required elements of a working vault,” she explains.

A value add from the construction manager PCL, she adds, is their use of in-house technology.

“They have the ability through programs such as an Electronic Plan Room and BIM Field 360 to have instant access to building drawings and files that expedite the resolution of possible drawing conflicts or site challenges as they may arise,” she says.

The number of workers to be employed during the construction period is anticipated to be about 450 to 500 with a peak onsite at one time of about 150.

Some of the features of the new gallery are a 360-degree video transporting you to the breathtaking Arctic; being able to connect with and speak to a musher in Rankin Inlet while he harnesses his dog sled team; hear personal histories directly from Inuit elders; take a trip to the north through a virtual-reality headset; step inside an igloo and go back 1,000 years to experience the Arctic as it was then; sit side-by-side with a master Inuit carver and create from stone in an outdoor studio; and create stop animation or throw clay on a pottery wheel in new state-of-the-art studios.

Along with exhibition spaces, the centre will also include a glass enclosed visible art vault, a conservation facility, art studios, an interactive theatre, classrooms and a new cafe.

The WAG Inuit Art Centre will open its doors in 2020, coinciding with Manitoba’s 150th birthday.

Pauline Boldt (@26_merton_road) on Instagram: “What an amazing experience. Deeply honoured to be part of this day ������ ❤️ #inuitartcentre

Lenard Monkman (@lenardmonkman) on Instagram
Shovels officially hit the ground today on the Winnipeg Art Gallery's Inuit Art Centre.
The Inuit Art Centre will feature over 14,000 pieces of artwork and will become home to the largest collection of Inuit art in the world.
The building is expected to open in 2020.


Jan Hewitt (@jan.hewitt) on Instagram: “Coming soon, the WAG’s Inuit Art Centre! @wag_ca #winnipegartgallery #wag #inuitartcentre

Darren Bernhardt on Instagram: “Tyndall stone cladding coming off side of Winnipeg Art Gallery in preparation for construction on addition that will house Inuit Art Centre.

Last edited by Wpg_Guy; Jun 29, 2018 at 8:43 AM.
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Old Posted Jun 29, 2018, 3:50 PM
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love the design!
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.”―Mark Twain
“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.”―Saint Augustine
“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.”―Anonymous
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