KPMB designs for Art Gallery of Saskatchewan met with mixed reviews
Designs have just been unveiled for a new art gallery in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, showing a series of interlocking boxes in a variety of transparencies. Presented by His Worship Mayor Donald Atchison and Chair of the Mendel Art Gallery and Art Gallery of Saskatchewan Board of Trustees Dr. Art Knight, the concepts by Toronto-based design studio Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects (KPMB) will now go on display in the lobby of the existing Mendel Art Gallery.
With a budget of $84m, it is hoped that the new Art Gallery of Saskatchewan (AGS) will act as a social hub for the region, bringing the community together under a freshly introduced capital campaign. Dr. Art Knight furthers: “The AGS design is extraordinary. The promise of this new building is already generating excitement locally and outside of our city’s borders. This will be an outstanding city landmark that attracts tourists and citizens of Saskatoon to a shared meeting place.”
This exuberance is not shared by all it seems. Under an illustrated announcement on the Mendel Art Gallery webpage, a local resident has expressed his irritation at the way in which the funding will be used. ‘Jim’ termed the move ‘scandalous’, arguing: “Renovate the Mendel and use the remaining tens of millions of dollars towards expanding the downtown library.” In direct contrast, a fellow commentator has applauded the concept as ‘flat, yet dynamic; modest, but bold; kind of like our province’ before highlighting the need for more solar paneling in the area.
The public are invited to an AGS Open House event on 22nd June at TCU Place to give feedback on the presented design and administration are due to report a funding strategy for the complex by the end of the month. KPMB collaborated with Winnipeg-based Smith Carter Architects and Engineers Incorporated on the concept.