The Vancouver Art Gallery is officially looking for architects to help transform a downtown parking lot into the cultural institution’s new home.
The gallery launched an open request for qualifications (RFQ) Thursday to choose the designers of the new facility to be built on a 1.8-acre site at Cambie and Georgia streets.
Vancouver city council in April authorized staff to negotiate a memorandum of understanding with the gallery association for a 99-year lease on a city-owned plot of land, after years of complaints from the gallery its existing building at Robson Square was so small and crowded the majority of its permanent collection had to go on tour or else be hidden away in storage.
The new building is planned to be 300,000 square feet, twice the size of the current facility, and include an auditorium and dedicated classroom and studio space, gallery director Kathleen Bartels told Metro by phone Thursday.
Interested architects must contact the gallery by Oct. 4.
According to April’s City of Vancouver staff report, the gallery needs to raise $150 million from the federal and provincial governments by 2015 as a condition of the lease.
Bartels declined to comment on the fundraising efforts to date, but said she expects private donors to step up once the winning design architects are announced in the first quarter of 2014.