National Gallery of Canada / Musée des beaux-arts du Canada

Annual Bulletin 1, 1977-1978

Annual Index
Author & Subject

Discoveries of a New Director

by Hsio-Yen Shih

Pages  1  |  2  |  3

The New Building

On 11 March, 1977, the Board of Assessors' Report on the National Gallery of Canada Limited Architectural Competition was released. Parkin Architects and Planners proved to be the winning submission, with the commendation that its "major virtue presents a potential for a distinguished, effective and sound structure." The report continues:

[It] distinguishes itself from the other competitors by its sense of order. Three components play an important role in its effect - measured proportions, structural clarity, and its diagonal location on the site. The structure's symbolic value is identifiable. At the same time its relationship of external form with internal space could be exciting. Its sense of order is an interesting beginning to an integrated solution, and should allow the flexibility required to create both 'universal space' or spanfree expanses for areas of public congregation and/or special exhibitions, as well as the controlled or disciplined spaces required for activities and permanent collections.

[It] suggests a classic solution to architectural 'delight' - subtle, unassertive and rational.
As a gesture of gratitude to all the competitors, and in recognition of the importance of architecture in the arts, the Gallery has circulated an exhibition which includes all the plans and models to five centres across Canada, from Halifax to Vancouver.

If subtlety, unassertiveness and rationality are qualities to be admired in institutions as well as in buildings, may we hope that the National Gallery of Canada will receive the support and encouragement it needs to continue towards creating both a reputation - and a structure - which will prove distinguished, effective and sound?

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