The master plan studies for the Vancouver Art Gallery were conducted to define the long-term challenges, opportunities, and possibility of significant expansion for institution its current downtown site. Located at the civic and cultural heart of Vancouver, the VAG site and existing building are closely integrated with two adjacent blocks which include the Provincial Law Courts and Robson Square.


The master plan proposes establishing a spine of circulation connecting Robson Square and Georgia Street Plaza by creating a public thoroughfare that culminates in a double-height Reception/Event Space at the basement level of the existing Courthouse. This lower level of the Courthouse then becomes a focal point of vertical movement connecting the lower gallery spaces and theatres; the Courthouse galleries; and a tower that culminates in a dramatic Gallery bar elevated above the Courthouse. From this vantage point visitors are given an unprecedented view of the city and a new way to experience art. In these conceptual master plans, the Vancouver Art Gallery connects and transforms the edges of the site, opening up connections vertically and horizontally, intensifying its importance as a cultural destination.

LOCATION / Vancouver, British Columbia
TYPE / Art museum & expansion of historic law courts with theater & café
SIZE / 140,000sf
STATUS / Completed 2005
ROLE / Programming & master planning
COST / $129 million