A desire to rebrand art’s elitist image has driven the design for a new, more accessible and environmentally-sustainable Vancouver Art Gallery. The new building will expand community services and education programs, showcase less-conventional media such as digital art, and enhance the city’s reputation as a destination for contemporary art.

Project Essentials

  • LocationVancouver, BC
  • ClientThe Vancouver Art Gallery Association
  • ArchitectHerzog & De Meuron Architects and Perkins&Will
  • Size311,000 ft² (28,892 m²)
  • BudgetC$350 million

Still in the early preliminary design phase, Fast + Epp contributed to the structural design of the gallery’s 11-storey main tower and lower building, with two levels of below-ground parking. The design features stacked rectangular volumes, a number of which dramatically cantilever out from the central core by as much as 12 metres. Lower floors will promote transparency, with floor-to-ceiling glazing to engage the street.


The architects are exploring the possibility of using glass and wood for the facade as a nod to British Columbia’s timber-rich heritage. The proposed programming will more than double the footprint of existing exhibition space and prioritize social gathering spaces such as a 350-seat theatre, courtyard, rooftop sculpture garden and library.