Museum of Anthropology Great Hall Renewal

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MOA location thumbnail
The proposal is for renewal of the Great Hall to the Museum of Anthropology (Development Permit 19025), including the reconstruction of the Great Hall on seismic base isolators; fire protection upgrades; skylight and lighting replacement; and the addition of roll-down shading.

While the Great Hall will be closed during the construction, the rest of the Museum will remain open. Visitors will still be able to enjoy the other exhibition spaces that the museum has to offer including much of the outdoor exhibits, including the Haida Houses and outdoor poles, which will also remain accessible to the public.

Location

6393 NW Marine Dr, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2

Proponents

UBC Infrastructure Development

Project Overview

MOA great hall
The Museum of Anthropology's Great Hall

The Museum of Anthropology (MOA) is an iconic and beloved place of world arts and cultures that is renowned for its unique exhibitions of world art and culture, with a special emphasis on the First Nations peoples and other cultural communities of British Columbia. As well as being a major tourist destination, MOA plays a vital role as a teaching and research museum.

This Fall, preparations will begin for a rebuild of its Great Hall to upgrade the resiliency of the museum and protect its irreplaceable collection in the event of a major earthquake. When the project is complete the Great Hall will look like it does now with some improvements, including new lighting and carpeting. MOA is also currently under construction for other building upgrades, such as updates to its skylights, lighting, roofing, window coverings and fire protection. Together, these improvements will better showcase and protect the collection. MOA’s landscape will also be fully remediated once construction is complete.

Public Consultation

Due to precautions in place for COVID-19, public consultation for this project will take place online.

As part of public consultation for this project we held a virtual open house on June 29, 2020. It was a drop-in style event hosted on Zoom. Campus and Community Planning staff and project design representatives were available to answer questions or respond to comments. 

Video: Learn about the MOA Great Hall Renewal

The project team has provided an overview of the plan for the Great Hall Renewal, including the details on structural design and landscape protection and restoration.

To view the materials presented in the video you can download the project summary attachment file below.

 

The public comment period for this project closed on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. Comments received will be considered as part of the development permit approval process.

Project Considerations

MOA great hall

During the planning process over the past year, technical studies revealed that it would not be feasible to achieve improved seismic performance of the Great Hall’s existing structure. To retrofit the existing structure would mean greatly compromising its architectural integrity, and so it was determined that a complete rebuild of the Great Hall is the best approach to upgrade its seismic resiliency while retaining Arthur Erickson’s intent and vision.

MOA has important heritage value for UBC and a rebuild of the Great Hall involves a sensitive approach, one that follows conservation principles that address both the heritage values and character-defining elements of the site and the building. Feedback from the Arthur Erickson Foundation has shaped the architectural and construction approach to the project. Likewise, the Musqueam Indian Band has participated in the planning process.

In preparation for the seismic upgrades, all of the massive wooden carvings that reside in the Great Hall will be lowered and relocated elsewhere in the museum ahead of the construction. MOA is liaising with Indigenous communities and families whose cultural objects are being moved from the Great Hall. They will continue to provide input into protocols around moving and re-installing these works into the Great Hall post-construction. The safety and protection of these irreplaceable Indigenous objects is of the highest priority to MOA’s team, who will ensure they are well cared for before and during construction.

Attachments

Document Contents
C+CP Open House Info UBC Campus + Community Planning information on the project background and planning process.
Project Summary Project design team summary of the architectural project scope and landscape protection and restoration.
Architectural Plans Architectural plans for the Great Hall renewal.
Landscape Plans Landscape plans for the Great Hall renewal.
Tree Protection Plan Arborist's report and inventory.

Animation

A short animation showing the MOA moving on base isolators
Animation courtesy of Equilibrium Consulting Inc.

Watch a short animation of the new based isolated Great Hall at the Museum of Anthropology "dancing" under seismic loads. 

Frequently Asked Questions

This Fall 2020, the Museum of Anthropology (MOA) will begin preparations for a rebuild of its Great Hall to upgrade the seismic resiliency of the space and protect its irreplaceable collection in the event of a major earthquake. As part of a larger renewal project, the museum is also currently receiving other building improvements, such as updates to its skylights, lighting, roofing, window coverings and fire protection.

As part of ongoing seismic planning, UBC conducted a comprehensive evaluation of seismic risk across all campus buildings to assess, plan, and prioritize upgrades to buildings or areas within the buildings that have the highest seismic risk. MOA’s Great Hall was determined to have a high level of seismic risk and therefore was prioritized for upgrade.

During the project planning process, it was determined that it would not be feasible to achieve improved seismic performance to the Great Hall while retaining the existing structural elements. A complete rebuild of the Great Hall was determined as the best approach to upgrading the resiliency of the space without compromising its architectural integrity.

UBC and MOA acknowledge that the museum is built on the traditional, ancestral and unceded land of the Musqueam people. Musqueam Indian Band has participated in the planning process.

MOA is considered to have important heritage value for UBC. The rebuild of the Great Hall involves a sensitive approach that will follow conservation principles that address both the heritage values and character-defining elements of the site and the building. Feedback from Arthur Erickson Foundation has shaped the architectural and construction approach to the project. The new rebuild for the Great Hall will retain the appearance of the original space to preserve its architectural character and heritage values. When the project is complete the building will look like it does now with some improvements, including new lighting and carpeting.

MOA will also receive some other building improvements, such as updates to its skylights, lighting, roofing, window coverings and fire protection – some of this work has been underway for the past year. Together, these improvements will better showcase and protect the collection. MOA’s landscape will also be fully remediated once construction is complete.

The Great Hall rebuild project is currently in the design phase and the space will be closing in September. Construction is expected to start immediately after and is anticipated to be completed in early 2022.

All objects from the Great Hall, including more than 20 massive carvings, will be temporarily located elsewhere in the museum in time for construction. Some of the poles have already been lowered and are available to the public to see. This unique collection will be reinstalled into the Great Hall once construction is complete. 

MOA is liaising with Indigenous communities and families whose cultural objects are being moved from the Great Hall. They will continue to provide input into protocols around moving and re-installing these works into the Great Hall post-construction. MOA’s team will ensure the irreplaceable Indigenous objects will be well cared for before and during construction.

While the Great Hall will be closed during construction as of September, the rest of the museum will remain open with many exhibitions for visitors to experience. All objects from the Great Hall, including more than 20 massive carvings, will be located elsewhere in the museum in time for construction. Some of the poles have already been lowered and are available to the public to see.

There are four other exhibition spaces at MOA to enjoy, including the Koerner European Ceramics Gallery, the Multiversity Galleries with more than 9,000 objects from around the world, the Elspeth McConnell Gallery of Northwest Coast Masterworks and the Audain Gallery that houses popular feature exhibitions. The Haida Houses located outside behind MOA and the poles on the museum grounds will still be accessible for the public.

Project Timeline

Summer 2017
Great Hall prioritized for seismic upgrades
Summer 2017

Great Hall prioritized for seismic upgrades

As part of ongoing UBC seismic planning, the Great Hall was determined to have a high level of seismic risk.

Fall 2018
Public announcement about the MOA renewal project.
Fall 2018

Public announcement about the MOA renewal project.

Work begins on roof replacement along with project planning for seismic upgrades to Great Hall. Removal of objects in Great Hall begins.

Winter/Spring 2019
A complete rebuild of the Great Hall is decided as the best approach
Winter/Spring 2019

A complete rebuild of the Great Hall is decided as the best approach

During the project planning process, it was determined that a complete rebuild was the best approach to upgrading the resiliency of the space without compromising its architectural integrity.

Summer 2019
Project is presented to UBC’s Advisory Urban Design Panel, Arthur Erikson Foundation and others
Summer 2019

Project is presented to UBC’s Advisory Urban Design Panel, Arthur Erikson Foundation and others

The presentation shared information to shape the architectural and construction approach to the project.

Fall 2019
MOA’s 70th Anniversary Celebration
Fall 2019

MOA’s 70th Anniversary Celebration

MOA celebrates its 70th anniversary.

June 18, 2020
Development Permit Application
June 18, 2020

Development Permit Application

Application received by UBC Development Services

June 19, 2020
Public comment period open
June 19, 2020

Public comment period open

Public comment period is open from June 19th - July 7th, 2020.

June 25, 2020
Development Review Committee
June 25, 2020

Development Review Committee

Review by the UBC Development Review Committee.

June 29, 2020
Virtual public open house
June 29, 2020

Virtual public open house

Virtual public open house event 4:30 - 6:30 pm with project design team and Campus and Community Planning staff. 

Fall 2020
All objects from the Great Hall relocated and Great Hall no longer accessible to the public
Fall 2020

All objects from the Great Hall relocated and Great Hall no longer accessible to the public

Starting mid-September, all objects from Great Hall will be relocated elsewhere in the museum, and a hoarding wall will be erected in mid-October, closing the Great Hall from public access. 

Summer 2022
Construction is anticipated to be completed
Summer 2022

Construction is anticipated to be completed

MOA will remain open to the public during the duration of construction.

Contact

Karen Russell

Manager, Development Services
(604) 822-1586