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Royal Alberta Museum weaves exterior and interior space together


Royal Alberta Museum.

Royal Alberta Museum.

Downtown Edmonton has a new landmark with completion of the Royal Alberta Museum construction earlier this month. Once the interior is completed, the gallery will open in late 2017.

The 37,100-sq.m complex sits on land formerly occupied by a Canada Post building, north of the city hall and the law courts.

From the street the building is a composite of different volumes, including a large horizontal block cantilevered over the low entrance, and natural materials such as limestone. The interior and exterior spaces are woven together “dynamically,” and throughout the building are gardens and roof terraces.  Along 103A Avenue a pedestrian boulevard is lined with large mosaic panels by artist Ernestine Tahedl that were reclaimed from the former post office.

DIALOG Design and Lundholm Associates Architects are part of the Ledcor Design-Build (Alberta) consortium that created the $375-million building, a project that began three years ago.

The original Alberta Royal Museum dates from 1967 and was located in residential Glenora, west of downtown. That building closed in 2015 in preparation for the move. The new museum doubles the exhibit space and will include natural history and human history galleries, a children’s gallery and bug room, along with 4,300 sq. m of curatorial, research and collection spaces.

At the August 16 event to mark the construction completion, Randy Boissonnault, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre said:   “The Royal Alberta Museum will be a landmark attraction in our downtown arts district. People will travel from near and far to learn about Alberta’s heritage and the stories of this great province – its land, its animals and its people. Infrastructure projects like this one are key to ensuring that Edmonton will remain among the best places in the world to live, work, and raise a family.”

Royal Alberta Museum, Edmonton.

Royal Alberta Museum, Edmonton.

Screens along pedestrian walkway, Royal Alberta Museum, Edmonton.

Screens along pedestrian walkway, Royal Alberta Museum, Edmonton.