Visions submitted for new downtown gem
Jessica Earle, ctvedmonton.ca
Published Thursday, August 18, 2011 7:09PM MDT
The province is inviting input on the final four designs vying to become the new Royal Alberta Museum, even though one cabinet minister admits he's ‘underwhelmed' by the quality of submissions.
Members of the public have until next Wednesday to have their say on what will soon stand on prime downtown land, just north of City Hall and the Art Gallery of Alberta.
Officials tell CTV all online comments will be submitted to a review panel, along with project proposals crafted by each design team.
"Just as the great urban centres around the world are known for their great museums, known for their cultural facilities, so too will this great city," said Ed Stelmach of the $340 million endeavour.
But Thomas Lukaszuk, the province's minister of Employment and Immigration, disagrees.
He believes the finalists, including Edmonton firms PCL Construction and Hop Architects, failed to capture the essence of Alberta.
"I don't see the mountains, I don't see the prairies, I don't see the industries," he said in a phone interview Thursday. "I don't see those that settled this province and the magnificent stories that are happening day to day in this province.
"At face value, I have to tell you I'm underwhelmed…I think I was hoping for something more grandiose."
The design unveilings come four months after the premier's long-awaited announcement to build a new museum. At 36,000 square metres, the building will double the size of the current Glenora facility, allowing the city to attract larger exhibits.
The province says the four contenders will be evaluated based on their design, ability to bring their project to reality, and proof they offer the best value for the building's budget.
Members of the review panel include the city manager, museum officials, experts in environmental design, and provincial representatives from several ministries.
The winner will be announced in September.
For more information on the four designs, click here.
With Files from Susan Amerongen