Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel is defending the designs for the new Royal Alberta Museum. 

The province plans to build the museum at 103A Avenue and 99th Street in downtown Edmonton — but the four designs recently released have drawn criticism from the public and a city councillor.

Mandel said the backlash is uncalled for.

"People have overreacted to four schematics that can be dressed up and changed and looked at in a different way," he said.

"I'm not going to comment anymore than [to say I'm] really pleased the province is building the new museum downtown. The Royal Museum is going to be a great asset to our city of Edmonton [and] the province of Alberta."

Mandel said the people are focusing too much on what the building might look like from the outside.

"It's what's inside a museum that counts. I've been to museums all over the world and not that many of them are architectural icons," he said.

"A lot of them are buildings that understand the importance of them, which is to house the artefacts and so if the province is going to spend money I would prefer them to spend it inside the building."

The province got 2,322 public comments on the designs on its website in one week.

The opportunity to comment is closed. The winning design will be unveiled in September.