Audain Art Museum
James Dow / Patkau Architects
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ElementBrandProduct Name
ManufacturersMP Lighting
ManufacturersB-K Lighting
ManufacturersCRL
Curtain WallKawneer
ManufacturersLea Ceramiche
GlassGuardian Glass

Product Spec Sheet
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by CRL
Curtain Wall
by Kawneer
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Glass

Audain Art Museum

Patkau Architects as Architects

Located in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada, the Audain Art Museum houses the personal art collection of Michael Audain. It is located on a beautiful yet challenging site in Whistler, surrounded by magnificent evergreen forest and situated in the floodplain of the Fitzsimmons Creek. The area is also a high snowfall region. The design responds to these factors in a simple and direct way, by projecting a volume of sequential public spaces and galleries into an existing linear void within the surrounding forest. The museum is elevated a full storey above ground and clad with an envelope of dark metal that recedes into the forest. 


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The Audain Art Museum is a 56,000 square foot private museum located in Whistler, British Columbia. It will house Michael Audain’s personal art collection which traces a visual record of British Columbia from the late 18th century to the present day. It includes one of the world’s finest collections of old First Nation masks, a superb collection of Emily Carr paintings, and works by some of Canada’s most significant post-war artists including Jack Shadbolt, E. J. Hughes, and Gordon Smith, as well as works by internationally regarded contemporary artists such as Jeff Wall, Rodney Graham, Stan Douglas and others.


The design of the museum is shaped by three powerful determinants. The first determinant is the need to house both the permanent exhibition of Michael Audain’s collection and, in juxtaposition with this collection, temporary exhibits of all kinds from across Canada and around the world. The second determinant is the beautiful but challenging site in Whistler which, although blessed by magnificent evergreen forest vegetation, is located within the floodplain of Fitzsimmons Creek. The third determinant is the enormous snowfall typical of Whistler which averages nearly 15 ft annual accumulated depth. Our design responds to these determinants, simply and directly, by projecting a volume of sequential public spaces and galleries into an existing linear void within the surrounding forest. It is elevated a full storey above the ground and crowned with a steeply sloped roof, containing administration and back-of-house support functions.


The building design and siting work synergistically within the context of the site to create a public pedestrian link, beginning from the ‘village stroll’, the pedestrian spine of Whistler Village, across Blackcomb Way, leading to and through the Museum and then across the site to Fitzsimmons Creek park. A bridge from Blackcomb Way rises through the forest to arrive at a sky lit museum entry porch. From there, visitors can either descend to the forest floor and central meadow to continue passage through the site, or enter into the museum lobby and event space. Once inside, visitors proceed along a glazed walkway overlooking the meadow below, to gain access first to the galleries which contain the permanent collection and then to the galleries which contain temporary exhibits.


The form and character of the building and interiors is deliberately restrained to provide a quiet, minimal backdrop to the art within and the surrounding natural landscape. The simple form of the exterior is clad in an envelope of dark metal which recedes into the shadows of the surrounding forest. Where this envelope is opened, to provide access in the entry porch or view from the glazed walkway to the galleries, the dark metal is overlaid by a luminous wood casing. Public spaces in the interior, which are visible from the exterior, continue this warm luminous materiality. Gallery interiors in both the permanent and temporary exhibition areas are closed white volumes with minimal detail.


Audain Art Museum

Bricault Design as Designers

Bricault Design was commissioned to design the permanent and temporary exhibitions for the Audain Art Museum, much contains one of the world’s finest collections of First Nations masks, as well as works from some of Canada’s most significant artists

 

Within the First Nations Gallery, shadows, muted tones and restrained lighting provide a transition from the bright and airy spaces of the museum entrance. In addition to conceiving the permanent gallery’s graphic design, colour scheme and didactics, Bricault designed the climate-controlled museum casework, as well as the custom mounts and plinths that delicately display and preserve valuable works.


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Bricault Design was commissioned by the Audain Art Museum to design permanent and temporary exhibitions for the gallery. Organized chronologically, the permanent collection is anchored by the Northwest Coast First Nation’s Gallery, which serves as the gateway to the permanent collection. Working within the building’s flexible grid system by Patkau Architects, circulation through the exhibitions is meandering, recalling a path through nature.


The shadows, muted tones, and restrained light levels in the First Nations Gallery provide a transition from the bright and airy spaces of the museum entrance. In addition to conceiving the permanent gallery’s graphic design, color scheme, and didactics, Bricault designed the climate-controlled museum casework, as well as the custom mounts and plinths that delicately display and preserve valuable works.


Since the museum’s opening, Bricault Design has designed numerous temporary exhibitions for the gallery.


Bricault Design is based in Vancouver, Canada, and pursues projects in architecture, interior design, graphic design, and product development. Our collective background includes academic training in architecture, industrial design, and fine arts, as well as millwork and project management experience. A hands-on knowledge of various fabrication techniques allows us to develop achievable solutions, producing work that is characteristically playful and surprising.

Audain Art Museum

PFS Studio as Landscape Architects

The Audain Art Museum works in synergy with the context of the site, forming a link from the public pedestrian stroll through Whistler Village, up to the Museum and onwards towards Fitzsimmons Creek Park. Situated in mature evergreen forest of the Pacific Northwest and within a floodplain, the museum is elevated on concrete piers. Visitors can descend to the forest floor and through a central meadow in order to pass through the site. The landscape design protects the surrounding native forest while sensitively creating outdoor spaces for creative works and programmable spaces for events and gatherings. 


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The Audain Art Museum, located in Whistler BC, is carefully sited within a mature Pacific Northwest mountain landscape. The museum is a masterful work by Patkau Architects and houses the private art collection of Michael Audain. His extraordinary collection includes both contemporary works and historic aboriginal art.


The building is nestled into a forested floodplain, situated along a well-traveled cultural route in Whistler Village. The landscape design protects the existing native forest while creating intimate outdoor spaces for displaying creative works and programmable spaces for special events and gatherings.

Audain Art Museum

Pocklington Building Systems as Installer/Manufacturer

Receding in the evergreen forest, the Audain Museum is striking for the dark metal that clads its roof and folds down the facades. It was installed by local roofing specialists Pocklington Building Systems (PBS) from Whistler, Canada. A total of 26 kilometers of roll form standing seam was produced on site with PBS’s own roll forming machines.


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Because of its location on a floodplain, the Museum is a steel construction elevated on six concrete piers and cores with the construction of the steel framework being in many ways like building a bridge, with cantilevers projecting. Pocklington Building Systems completed with the envelope of the building, including the soffits, walls and roof.

 

Unique features include the standing seam metal ribs, which line up precisely all the way around the building, from roof to soffit to walls, which was no easy task given that wall incline up to 50 degrees. In order to achieve this level of perfection, GPS technology was used to layout out the metal and establish points to carry a consistent line.

 

In total, 26 kilometers of roll form standing seam in 55’ sheets was produced on site with PBS’s own roll forming machines.

 

A total construction value of $2.6 Billion (CDN), Pocklington Building Systems were awarded the President’s Gold Award for Subtrades at the annual Vancouver Regional Construction Association’s (VRCA) Awards of Excellence Gala.

 

Pocklington Building Systems specalizes in all types of roofing installation including standing seam, snap and lock lock profiles for metal roofs, along with many other roofing and cladding products.  

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