Award-winning American architect Michael Maltzan has been selected to design the Inuit Art and Learning Centre at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. The 40,000-square-foot centre, due to start construction in 2014, will house the WAG’s collection of contemporary Inuit art—said to be the largest of its kind in the world at 11,000 objects spanning 60 years—and the WAG’s studio art and learning programs.
Maltzan’s projects include MoMA QNS, Regen Projects and the Hammer Museum’s Billy Wilder Theatre. Known for architecture that aims to catalyze new experiences and act as an agent for change—and has won five Progressive Architecture awards—Maltzan is based in Los Angeles. He will be prime and design architect for the project, while Winnipeg’s Cibinel Architects, led by George Cibinel, will be associate and technical architect.
Maltzan’s proposal beat that of five other shortlisted ones. These included proposals from Will Bruder Architects and Peter Sampson Architecture Studio (Phoenix and Winnipeg); Diller Scofidio + Renfro (New York); Kengo Kuma and Associates (Tokyo); Patkau Architects/LM Architectural Group (Vancouver and Winnipeg); and Preston Scott Cohen Inc. with Number TEN architectural group (Boston and Winnipeg).
“We welcome the chance to expand upon Gustavo da Roza’s architectural legacy and realize a visible, vibrant, and accessible centre that supports the WAG’s mission to be a true civic and cultural centre of the widest influence and appeal,” Maltzan said in a gallery release. “We look forward to working together with the WAG on this exceptional project.”
According to the Winnipeg Free Press, the new addition, to be located adjacent to the current WAG structure, is estimated to cost $35 million. Gallery releases state that the development of the centre is part of the WAG’s Centennial legacy project, which will be supported by the gallery’s upcoming capital and endowment campaign. In October, the WAG struck a national task force to assist with the program and mandate of the Inuit Art and Learning Centre.