Michael Maltzan’s Inuit Art Centre due to open in Winnipeg this autumn

The Inuit Art Centre (IAC) in Winnipeg, Canada, designed by Los Angeles-based Michael Maltzan Architecture, and local company Cibinel Architects, is due to open in autumn 2020.

Winnipeg, is the capital of Manitoba province, in which First Nation people make up 12% of the population. The IAC will be the largest exhibition gallery in the country devoted to First Nation art.

Construction on the project began in spring 2018, and the development will be a 3,716 sq m addition to the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

The project has a glass-clad ground level that mixes into the sculptural walls of the upper floors.

Designers visited the north Canadian province of Nunavut to learn more about Inuit communities and this inspired the unique landscaping that serves as the background to the centre and the organically-shaped skylights.

The IAC connects to the southern edge of the existing Gustavo da Roza gallery, and will include a top-floor space containing 13,000 Inuit carvings, textile prints and artworks provided by the Winnipeg gallery and the government of Nunavut. There will also be a double-height Inuit Vault, to be used for storage, a lecture theatre and space for educational programmes for the local community.

Stephen Borys, Winnipeg Art Gallery’s director, said: "We’ll be able to connect a classroom in Winnipeg to a classroom in Rankin [Inlet] or Iqaluit.

"(The design) draws on the ephemeral qualities of northern environments that celebrate historic and contemporary Inuit art and culture."

Images courtesy of Michael Maltzan Architecture

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