The Vancouver Art Gallery has selected the Swiss firm of Herzog & de Meuron to design its new gallery at the corner of West Georgia and Cambie streets in downtown Vancouver.

The firm, which is based in Basel, Switzerland is expected to have a conceptual design ready by early 2015.

Gallery director Kathleen Bartels said the firm was chosen because of its "proven ability to create innovative museum buildings that place prominence on artists and institutional mission."

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The new Vancouver Art Gallery will be build on an empty city lot at the corner of West Georgia and Cambie streets. (CBC)

“Throughout the selection process, Herzog & de Meuron demonstrated a deep commitment to and respect for the rich history and unique spirit of the gallery, our community, and our surrounding natural and urban environment," said a statement released by Bartels.

Herzog & de Meuron's past projects include many high-profile public buildings around the world, including:

  • Tate Modern in London.
  • Schaulager in Basel.
  • Pérez Art Museum in Miami.
  • Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.
  • De Young Museum in San Francisco.
  • Prada Aoyama in Tokyo.
  • National Stadium (“Bird’s Nest”) in Beijing.

Previous estimates have put the cost of a new gallery at $150 million. So far the gallery has a $50-million commitment from the province for the project and the site donated by the City of Vancouver.

But Bartels says they expect to announce significant capital gifts in the coming weeks as part of the launch of a major fundraising campaign.