The National Gallery of Canada, designed by Moshe Safdie in 1988, has finally completed its first major overhaul by Adrien Gardère Studio. The construction of the new renovations has taken nine months, preceded by years of planning, to be finally opened by the Ottawa Institution as the new “Canadian and Indigenous Galleries.” The transformed galleries bring together European and Indigenous arts for the first time, which has deeply influenced the French studio’s approach in the re-design.
Adrien Gardère Studio remodeled the galleries to make vaster exhibition spaces capable of displaying 800 artworks from the national gallery’s collection. They provided the spaces with LED lighting technology and special display cases to enhance the viewers’ perception of the art pieces which include photographs and historical sculptures, and native objects, besides the paintings.
“The newly transformed galleries provide the ideal setting to tell a more complete story of artmaking in this land, which dates back thousands of years,” said Marc Mayer, director and CEO of the National Gallery of Canada. “By the time the national gallery was founded in 1880, the country was emerging as home to a rich mosaic of artistic practice. We worked closely with partner institutions and indigenous communities to create a meaningful display, representative of Canada’s unique diversity and heritage.”
The National Gallery of Canada, designed by Safdie almost 30 years ago, is home to 132,700 square feet of gallery space, in addition to art storage, administration, and educational facilities. It enjoys views of both the Parliament Hill and the Ottawa River.