With a design inspired by the landscapes, light and people of the north, the iconic Inuit Art Centre at the Winnipeg Art Gallery engages and inspires current and future generations. An eye-catching, three-story glass vault filled with thousands of Inuit carvings greets visitors and pays homage to Canada’s Indigenous artists. The Inuit Gallery is the largest exhibition gallery in Canada devoted to Indigenous art and is a space for Indigenous people to gather and learn more about their history through the medium of art, as well as space for others to learn about reconciliation and Inuit culture. 

The project involved a 38,500-square-foot addition to the existing building to incorporate new galleries, classrooms, studios, lecture theater, research areas and visible art storage vault, as well as 17,000 square feet of renovations to the existing building.

We demolished six-inch concrete walls on the top floor of the existing building to allow for the new floor layout. With millions of dollars of artwork on the floor below, we needed to reduce vibrations being carried throughout the building and mitigate any potential for water intrusion. To limit impacts and prevent damage, we used a nonexplosive demolition material that met our needs and was dust-free, environmentally friendly and safe to use.

Our creativity and innovation didn’t stop there. The original demolition plans called for removal and replacement of the basement storm and sanitary pits. We reviewed the demolition package in detail before starting work and suggested saving and reusing the existing pits for the new construction, which saved the owner money and reduced risk.

Ongoing communication, a commitment to quality and adherence to a strict budget and schedule were key in successfully delivering this stunning facility with its many intricate architectural features, curves and extreme angles. 

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