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Heneghan Peng win international design competition for Canadian Canoe Museum

Irish architects Heneghan Peng have won the international design competition for new Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough, Ontario with their plan for a winding glass pavilion on the Trent-Severn waterway.

The new US$45m (€41.6m, £31.5m) building – described as “a Canadian game changer” by the museum board – will be located on an early 20th century boat lift and will house the world’s largest collection of canoes and kayaks.

There will be a particular focus on the waterway traditions of the area’s indigenous population, and the new museum is being developed as a legacy project for the 150th anniversary of Canada becoming a federally united country.

The architects submitted their proposal with Canadian practice Kearns Mancini for the two-stage design competition, and their entry was selected over five rival bids, including entries from Vancouver’s Bing Thom Architects and Kohn Pedersen Fox.

The judging panel said it chose the design because of its “intelligence on sustainability, which exemplifies the lightness and sublime functionality of the canoe and embraces aboriginal wisdom to live and build lightly on the land.”

The museum will be designed to LEED Gold designation, and aspires to LEED Platinum. The design incorporates geothermal heating and cooling and only the east and south glass walls will be exposed to the elements, lowering energy costs. A two-acre rooftop garden will be transformed into an edible garden and community space.

The building’s 80,000sq ft (7,400sq m) single-floor design will feature a flexible floor plate, allowing the museum to adapt to changing expectations and technology over time by reconfiguring the internal partitions. The glass-walls will mean the water can be seen from every point in the museum.

The design includes 17,000sq ft (1,500sq m) of exhibition space, 20,000sq ft (1,800sq m) of publicly-accessible storage for exhibits, a restaurant, cafe and gift shop, and an ‘Eastern Door’ area for aboriginal sunrise ceremonies. There will also be an outdoor terrace and public space for yoga, canoe workshops and food festivals.

“The museum design breaks with ego-driven architecture to offer a gentle, organic space that poetically winds its way along the Trent-Severn, said Lisa Rochon, the chair of the Canadian Canoe Museum Selection Committee. “It’s going to change the way we think about architecture, place making and the canoe - a true icon of design.”

The museum is seeking funding from private donors and all levels of government. Fundraising efforts will be stepped up after a planning submission is sent to the City of Peterborough and Parks Canada.

Construction is planned to begin in late 2017, with the museum opening 30 months later.

“The Peterborough Canadian Canoe Museum and Curve Lake First Nation are actively building relationships,” said Chief Phyllis Williams, who represents the area’s aboriginal population and is a member of the design selection committee.

“The canoe is a very important piece of our history, the history of this Mississauga ancestral territory. It is significant for the community to be involved at every opportunity, extend support, and complement the work being undertaken to relocate a very impressive collection of our country’s past, present, and future. It sets an example and opportunity to extend to others all over the world.”

Heneghan Peng are set for a busy year. Their competition-winning Grand Egyptian Museum is currently being constructed in Giza, Egypt at the foot of the Pyramids and their Palestinian Museum in the West Bank town of Birzeit is expected to open later this year.

Heneghen Peng  design competition  Canadian Canoe Museum  architecture  design  Canada  canoes 
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FEATURE: Architect Focus – Heneghan Peng

Irish architects Heneghan Peng have won the international design competition for new Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough, Ontario with their plan for a winding glass pavilion on the Trent-Severn waterway. The new US$45m (€41.6m, £31.5m) building – described as “a Canadian game changer” by the museum board – will be located on an early 20th century boat lift and will house the world’s largest collection of canoes and kayaks. There
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The judging panel said it chose the design because of its 'intelligence on sustainability, which exemplifies the lightness and sublime functionality of the canoe and embraces aboriginal wisdom to live and build lightly on the land' / Visualisation by Luxigon
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