Art Gallery of Alberta opens (February 01, 2010)

EDMONTON The Art Gallery of Alberta (AGA), in downtown Edmonton, opened to the public on January 31. The remodeled 85,000-sq.-ft. gallery, designed by Los Angeles architect Randall Stout, features three floors of exhibition space that will showcase historical and contemporary Canadian and international art.

The building is crafted from three key materials: patinaed zinc; high performance glazing; and stainless steel, reflecting Edmonton’s dramatic weather pattern and the extreme contrast of the long days of summer and the short days of winter, allowing the building to transform in response to its natural surroundings. Angular windows are juxtaposed against a winding 190-metre steel ribbon that references the forms of the North Saskatchewan River and Aurora Borealis.

The new AGA also includes an expanded education facility, the Singhmar Education Centre for Art Education, as well as upgraded art-handling facilities and celebratory public event spaces. Highlights include a fully outfitted theatre; a museum store, Shop AGA; a ‘floating’ room, the Borealis Lounge; a relaxed fine dining establishment, Zinc; as well as the L1 Espresso Bar and third floor Terrace Caf. The AGA is directly accessible from Edmonton’s underground light rail transportation system (LRT) entrance.

Randall Stout Architects, Inc. was selected from 25 international submissions during the spring of 2005, to redesign the former gallery building originally designed by Edmonton architect Don Bittorf in 1969. The building project was funded by an $88 million capital campaign, with major support from all three levels of government as well as private sector donations.

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