Swiss firm secures Vancouver Art Gallery & Helvetia Head Office in St. Gallen projects
Swiss design studio Herzog & de Meuron has been announced as lead architect on two new projects: the fourth and final extension for the Helvetia Head Office in St. Gallen, Switzerland; and a 300,000 sq ft public and commercial facility for the Vancouver Art Gallery.
Insurance firm The Helvetia Group has once again selected Herzog & de Meuron for the fourth phase of its expansion project, which has seen three previous buildings constructed at the headquarters site between 2002 and 2004, all designed by the Swiss design studio.
These earlier additions have been arranged around the original cruciform office structure. This fourth extension will provide a grand entrance to the headquarters complete with café, meeting rooms and office units.
Herzog & de Meuron has also been selected for a 300,000 sq ft project in Vancouver, marking the first scheme in Canada for the practice. Spanning an entire city block, the Vancouver Art Gallery development will blend public and commercial uses to provide a new and expanded home for this treasured institution.
Gallery Director Kathleen S. Bartels said: “We are thrilled to be working with Herzog & de Meuron and to be the first to bring their incredible talent to Canada. Our new Gallery will be a vital and dynamic resource for Vancouver, one that engages and welcomes artists and visitors from the region and around the world.
“Throughout the selection process, Herzog & de Meuron demonstrated a deep commitment to and respect for the rich history and unique spirit of the Gallery, our community, and our surrounding natural and urban environment. Our new purpose-built home will embrace the rich diversity of our community and serve as a nexus for cross-cultural dialogue and exchange."
Renderings for the competition-winning design are yet to be released by the practice with the Gallery choosing to reveal the concepts in early 2015. The new development will double the space of the existing Vancouver Art Gallery, enabling the institution to embark upon larger exhibitions and an expanded educational programme.