Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum

Project Overview

Located on a 10-acre site between Wembley and Grand Prairie, this museum pays homage to the long-horned dinosaur that roamed the land in northwestern Alberta millions of years ago. The museum features extensive gallery spaces, two classrooms, a 64-seat theatre, research and collection areas, a restaurant, and a gift shop on three levels. High windows and a spacious interior with a unique timber truss design create a truly exceptional museum experience.

The 33,000-square-foot building makes extensive use of windows and natural light, but it is the geometry, timber beams, and struts that really stand out. The roof line has numerous corners and slopes with only a couple at 90 degrees, while the glulaminated timber framing connection nodes are incredible. The nodes are constructed of wood and connect to seven timber beams on one node.

Building Information Modeling (BIM) was used extensively to estimate earthwork, the layout, surveying, concrete foundations, glulaminated timbers and structural steel. The tender was tailored to the building’s design and requested that the formwork, structural steel, and glulam members incorporate the use of modeling and collaborate with the designer’s Rhino model to achieve the geometry. Each team used a form of modeling PCL was able to bring together in one collaborative model, allowing the teams to check the geometry, connections, and transitions, and resulting in minimal errors during the construction of the concrete foundations and slabs, structural steel, and glulaminated timber framing. This also enabled comprehensive planning; questions that arose from the digital creation and amalgamation of the four models were answered before activity started, resulting in continuous work with no downtime spent waiting for answers. It also minimized travel, room, and board costs.


County of Grande Prairie No. 1
Wembley, AB
Edmonton – Buildings & Civil Construction
PCL Construction Management Inc.
Commercial, Hospitality and Gaming
Construction Management


Alberta Construction Magazine Top Project Award Commercial under $50 million - Alberta Construction Magazine