Audain Art Museum

Architect : Patkau Architects Inc.
Project team: John Patkau, Patricia Patkau, David Shone, Michael Thorpe, Mike Green, Marc Holland, Cam Koroluk, Dimitri Koubatis, Tom Schroeder, Luke Stern, Peter Suter, David Zeibin

Consultants
Structural: Equilibrium Consulting
Mechanical/ Electrical: Integral Group
Lighting: HLB Lighting Design
Civil: Creus Engineering
Landscape: PFS Studio / Tom Barratt
Code: LMDG
Building Envelope: Spratt Emanuel Engineering
Floodproofing: Kerr Wood Leidal
Geotechnical: Geopacific Consultants
Snow Management: Mountain Resort Engineering
Signage: Gallop Varley
Museum Consultant: Lord Cultural Resources
Exhibition Design: Bricault Design
Construction Manager: Axiom Builders

Images
James Dow / Patkau Architects (1-26)
Patkau Architects (27-32)

Location

Size

Client

Awards

Whistler, British Columbia, Canada

5,200 sq m / 56,000 sq ft

Audain Art Museum

2018 RIBA Award for International Excellence
2018 Governor General’s Medal in Architecture
2018 AIA Award – Architecture
2017 Wood Design Honor Award
2017 AIBC Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia Medal in Architecture
2017 Azure AZ Award
2017 Canadian Wood Council Design Award

Description

This 56,000 square foot museum houses the personal collection of Michael Audain and Yoshiko Karasawa, which traces a visual record of British Columbia from the late 18th century to present day.

The design of the museum is shaped by three determinants: (1) the need to house the permanent collection and temporary exhibits from around the world, (2) the challenging site, a former works yard, surrounded by mature trees, in the floodplain of a local creek, and (3) the enormous Whistler snowfall, averaging 15 feet per year.

Our design responds to these determinants directly. The works yard is remediated to a natural temperate rainforest, and building carefully sited to preserve the large trees on site. A sequence of spaces is projected into the renewed forest, elevated a full story above the floodplain to protect the collection. A steeply sloped mass timber roof sheds the massive snowfall.

The building is sited to create a pedestrian link beginning at Whistler Village. A bridge from street-level rises through the forest to arrive at a skylit entry porch. From there, visitors can either enter the lobby or descend to the forest floor and continue to the nearby path system. Inside, visitors proceed along a glazed walkway overlooking the forest to gain access to galleries and exhibits.

The form and character of the museum is deliberately restrained to form a quiet backdrop for the collection. The dark metal exterior recedes into the shadows of the surrounding forest, punctuated occasionally at openings by luminous wood casings.

The museum focuses strongly on sustainability while maintaining environmental conditions to Class AA museum requirements. Energy consumption is 40% less than the ASHRAE 90.1-2007 baseline building, which is accomplished with (1) a high-performance building envelope, (2) air-source heat pumps with heat recovery for heating water, and (3) air-to-air heat recovery wheels in air-handling units to recover heat and moisture from exhaust air. The museum targets LEED Gold (New Construction, Canada, 2009) and was awarded First Place in the 2018/2019 ASHRAE Region XI Awards.

This 56,000 square foot museum houses the personal collection of Michael Audain and Yoshiko Karasawa, which traces a visual record of British Columbia from the late 18th century to present day.

The design of the museum is shaped by three determinants: (1) the need to house the permanent collection and temporary exhibits from around the world, (2) the challenging site, a former works yard, surrounded by mature trees, in the floodplain of a local creek, and (3) the enormous Whistler snowfall, averaging 15 feet per year.

Our design responds to these determinants directly. The works yard is remediated to a natural temperate rainforest, and building carefully sited to preserve the large trees on site. A sequence of spaces is projected into the renewed forest, elevated a full story above the floodplain to protect the collection. A steeply sloped mass timber roof sheds the massive snowfall.

The building is sited to create a pedestrian link beginning at Whistler Village. A bridge from street-level rises through the forest to arrive at a skylit entry porch. From there, visitors can either enter the lobby or descend to the forest floor and continue to the nearby path system. Inside, visitors proceed along a glazed walkway overlooking the forest to gain access to galleries and exhibits.

The form and character of the museum is deliberately restrained to form a quiet backdrop for the collection. The dark metal exterior recedes into the shadows of the surrounding forest, punctuated occasionally at openings by luminous wood casings.

The museum focuses strongly on sustainability while maintaining environmental conditions to Class AA museum requirements. Energy consumption is 40% less than the ASHRAE 90.1-2007 baseline building, which is accomplished with (1) a high-performance building envelope, (2) air-source heat pumps with heat recovery for heating water, and (3) air-to-air heat recovery wheels in air-handling units to recover heat and moisture from exhaust air. The museum targets LEED Gold (New Construction, Canada, 2009) and was awarded First Place in the 2018/2019 ASHRAE Region XI Awards.