I have been inside for a BUMP event this past summer - the updates are really slick, far more than I was expecting. In my opinion, it is actually one of our better quasi-public buildings on the inside. I would highly recommend going for an event there to check it out. I think it was a good balance between updating and modernizing while keeping the brutalist glory (e.g. the concrete ramp) that any self-respecting contemporary art gallery needs. The expansion plans should further complement what's there once they roll out.
I found the work that has been done amazing. Talk about ROI for how much went into just the base building systems vs public facing things.
The building is a great gallery if limited right now. Already the curation of the limited shows shows a playfulness that is usually lacking in modern art museums. Weird angled walls and a lot of space without top level humidity control means creativity is needed! Using the theatre for non-theatre purposes had an air of whimsy about it. The residency space on the lower floor is something most museums would die to have so core in their building.
"North Gallery Renovation: Contemporary Calgary recently began a renovation to a part of the building—the former 7,000 square foot Creative Kids Museum. This initial renovation recently received a $372,025 funding grant through the Ministry of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism Cultural Spaces Fund Program. The gallery is expected to be open to the public by January 2020."
"Planetarium Transformation: The existing Centennial Planetarium building will undergo a significant renovation to the entire building to transform it into a gallery for modern and contemporary art. Key to this phase of the project is the building of an entrance pavilion that will help restore the original circulation and flow for visitors to the building up to the second floor. New amenities will be included including a café-style restaurant and open spaces for the community to gather."
"New Class A Addition: A new addition will be built on the north side of the site, bringing a 10,000 square foot Class A gallery, an adjacent 3,000 square foot Class A gallery, rooftop sculpture garden and event space. This addition to the building will help Contemporary Calgary attract the best in local, national and international exhibitions of modern and contemporary art, and make the facility one of best arts experiences in the country."
I'd love to see bridges connecting the second floor of the gallery across the LRT tracts to Millennium Park and across Bow Trail to the Bow River Pathway, similar to how Renzo Piano's addition of the Chicago Institute of Art connects to (the other) Millennium Park. In fact, the vertical lines of the proposed Class A gallery remind me of that Piano wing.
I went to the gallery yesterday was was pretty impressed with the facility! I was more fascinated with the building than the actual art work ?
I'm looking forward to seeing how the West End will look in the next 10-20 years. I was proud of our city for facilitating the conversion of an old beautiful brutalist building into an art gallery. As previous posters have mentioned, it's a nice touch to have the Library at one of downtown and the Art Gallery at the other.
My bf and I went last night to check it out. Neither of us are really art buffs, but we spent about an hour and half there and saw everything. We both felt like it was the perfect amount to go through, and the time spent there felt about right. Mostly everything was interesting as well. Interior renovations are really really great. Everything is clean and simple, and they use the triangle shape of the central stairway/ramp throughout the building. Great use of the planetarium with the current "Museum of the Moon" exhibition. It'll be interesting to see how future exhibitions will use the space. Plus, entry is cheap, and an annual membership is only $20! All in all, feels a bit small town-ish, but there's tons tons of space left to grow, and the exterior renovations appear to expand on that as well.