He looked at the WAG and the city and expanded urban opportunities, presenting the idea of creating a new forum for exhibition, contemplation, and learning
—Stephen Borys, WAG executive director
Once a collection of contemporary Inuit art
climbs to more than 13,000 pieces, more storage space is probably in order>
When the Winnipeg Art Gallery
went looking for an architect to design their new Inuit Art and Learning Centre, there was interest from 65 architectural teams from 15 different countries. In the end, after proposals from six finalists, the selection committee chose American architect, Michael Maltzan
. Based in Los Angeles, Maltzan's firm has designed a range of building styles all over the world.
Stephen Borys is executive director at the WAG, he said Maltzan "talked about Inuit art as contemporary art in a regional and global context. He looked at the WAG and the city and expanded urban opportunities, presenting the idea of creating a new forum for exhibition, contemplation, and learning - an accessible and invigorating space - in the public realm."
In the end, the selection committee was unanimous in their choice of Maltzan's proposal, supported locally by Cibinel Architects, Ltd. "In the end he was changing the conversation about how we think about art and the museum experience. He was the game changer among the finalists," Borys said.
The project is expected to break ground sometime in 2014 and will take about two years to complete. It will take over the space currently occupied by the WAG Studio building on the corner of Memorial Boulevard and St. Mary Avenue.
In addition to housing the collection of Inuit art, the three level, 40,000 square foot building will offer classroom space and continue to be the home of the WAG Studio.