The highly anticipated new museum of philanthropist, developer and art collector Michael Audain, the Audain Art Museum in Whistler, is on track with the announcement of development’s newly-appointed architects.
Vancouver-based architecture duo John and Patricia Patkau of Patkau Architects have been selected to design the site. Announced by museum board member Jim Moodie, both architects and development are expected to bring new life to the area.
“We are delighted that John and Pat have agreed to undertake this commission,” Moodie said. “It will, no doubt, result in an exciting building which will add to the diversity of things to enjoy in Whistler.”
According to Audain, choosing the Patkaus was natural given their strong portfolio of work tackling developments of this nature.
“We ended up choosing the Patkaus based on their very extensive knowledge of art galleries, public art museums and also, of course, their track record is illustrious,” he said.
The architects themselves have yet to confirm a final vision for the site but have outlaid three main focal points that will lead the architectural decisions and overall design vision.
“We view this as a sort of a three-part project, the first part being the collection,” John Patkau said. “The second part is the architecture, but we view the landscape as being an equally important third part.”
He further explained how the local landscape and natural surroundings are expected to inform and inspire the museum’s design.
“We’ve been to the site on several occasions already. Its a very interesting site because it’s sort of between the Village and Fitzsimmons Creek, which is a very natural zone that runs right through Whistler,” he said. “So it offers us some very interesting opportunities to have a building which is simultaneously part of the Village and simultaneously part of the forest.”
While Audain admits he has no ‘preconceived idea what they’re going to do,’ he does have a deadline for the project, saying ‘things have to move along.’
The project is expected to begin early next year, with completion expected by late 2014.