A design-build team led by Ledcor was announced Wednesday as the winning bid for construction of the new Royal Alberta Museum in downtown Edmonton.

"It has the accessibility to the LRT. It's in the arts area. It has the ability to expand into the future, if that's necessary in 30 or 40 years," said Infrastructure Minister Ray Danyluk. "This is a great design."


Another view of the winning Ledcor design, looking south from 97th Street and 105 Avenue. (Government of Alberta)

EllisDon Construction Services, Graham Design Builders and PCL Construction Management were also in the running to design and build the new $340 million dollar museum at 103A Avenue and 99th Street.

The Ledcor team is made up of Ledcor Construction, DIALOG Design and Lundholm Associates Architects.

When the designs from the four finalists were unveiled last month, they prompted widespread criticism over how institutional, plain and box-like they were.

Critics believe the province's use of a design-build process, where the construction company, not the architect, leads the project, placed constraints on the scope of the plan.


Donna Clare is one of the lead architects for the winning Ledcor proposal. (CBC)

But that premise was rejected by Donna Clare, one of the lead architects for the Ledcor project.

"The creativity is there," she said. "I don't believe the process hampered the creative process. Budgets are a reality of what we do and you can't build buildings without budgets."

The museum is currently located at Government House in Glenora. The province scrapped plans four years ago to redevelop the existing museum partly because it was determined it would be too impractical to build an addition at the current site.

The new building is expected to open in 2015