Saskatoon

Heritage committee to examine new plans for Saskatoon's Civic Conservatory

A report going to Saskatoon's Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee is shedding some light on what the planned Civic Conservatory building could eventually look like.

Plans include large 'modular' option, renovating existing building

The Modular Option for the new Civic Conservatory would add a semi-spherical, egg-shaped building to the current conservatory building. (City of Saskatoon)

A report going to Saskatoon's Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee is shedding some light on what the planned Civic Conservatory in the former Mendel Art Gallery building could eventually look like.

The conservatory building has been closed to the public since 2017 after the gallery closed and moved to its new home at River Landing. The city says the conservatory, which was a large scale, year round greenhouse, needs significant repair before it reopens.

While a final decision would have to be made by city council, the heritage committee is being asked to weigh in on the project in its early stages.

One of the options include a modular option, which would add a 'semi' spherical, egg-shaped building' on to the site, linked to the current conservatory by a tunnel.

The new building could be pointed a number of different directions, potentially creating a public plaza, and offering a view of the river valley.

The Expand Option would build a new conservatory building closer to the riverbank. (City of Saskatoon)

Another plan called the expand option would add a connected building to the east side of the current conservatory.

A third option would renovate the existing building, which would likely include repairing or replacing the roof, upgrade the building's heating and cooling system and repair the east side brick wall.

The conservatory renewal project is part of the Kinsmen Park Master Plan. The building was given heritage designation in 2018.

In previous heritage committee meetings, the report said members agreed using the original architecture with an added new design would be the best idea.

There was some disagreement on the importance of preserving the south view of the conservatory from Spadina Avenue. While some members wanted the old Conservatory visible, others said the view is already blocked by trees in front of the building.

Administration will take the feedback from the committee back to councillors, who will receive the information later this year.

The Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee will meet Wednesday morning.