MASHABANE ROSE ASSOCIATES – architects & urban designers | CANADIAN MUSEUM FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

CANADIAN MUSEUM FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, CANADA

Canada Museum - Model
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LOCAL AND INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS NARRATIVES ARE FOLDED SEAMLESSLY INTO THE EXISTING CULTURAL LANDSCAPE, WITH THE FORKS PARKLAND RISING UP AND FOLDING OVER THE BUILDING TO FORM GREEN ROOFS OF PRAIRIE GRASS. THE VALUES AND HISTORY OF THE FORKS IS THUS EMPHASIZED AND COMBINED WITH STRONG LINES OF MOVEMENT THAT LINK HISTORIC ‘CELEBRATION’ SITES, THE DYNAMIC, RISING FORMS OF THE MUSEUM CREATE AND CELEBRATE A TANGIBLE CULTURAL CONTINUITY. THE ROOF REPLACES THE GREEN SPACE LOST TO THE CITY WITH THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE NEW MUSEUM.

THE HISTORIC LANDSCAPE RISES IN A DIRECT AND FORCEFUL GESTURE TOWARD WINNIPEG CITY, WITH PEDESTRIAN ROUTES WINDING THROUGH THE MAIN MUSEUM ARRIVAL COURT, LINKING THE MUSEUM TO THE DAILY LIFE OF THE CITY.

THE HISTORIC ACT OF PEOPLE FROM DIFFERENT PLACES CONVERGING ON THE SITE TO SETTLE TERRITORIAL AND LAND DISPUTES GAVE RISE TO THE PLAN FORM OF CONVERGING VOLUMES.

THE RAMPED ENTRANCE SPACE THAT LEADS UP TO THE MUSEUM ENTRANCE ESTABLISHES A JOURNEY THAT BEGINS WITH THE CROSSING OF THE NEW PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE OR FROM THE PARK SIDE. THE JOURNEY OF THE MUSEUM VISITOR CROSSES AND MINGLES WITH THE PEDESTRIAN MOVEMENT OF THE LOCAL INHABITANTS, CREATING A GREATER POSSIBILITY OF CHANCE ENCOUNTERS AND SOCIAL DIVERSITY.

RIVER VIEWS AND CITY VIEWS ARE FRAMED IN THE EXHIBIT SPACES TO EMPHASIZE THE NATURAL AND BUILT UP LANDSCAPE OF THE HISTORIC AND CONTEMPORARY WORLDS. THE VIEWS FORM PART OF THE EXHIBIT INTERPRETIVE EXPERIENCE WITH NARRATIVE TEXT ETCHED ON THE WINDOWS EXPLAINING THE HISTORY OF THE EXTERIOR LANDSCAPE; LINES ARE DRAWN IN THE LANDSCAPE LINKING THE INTERIOR NARRATIVE WITH THE ACTUAL PHYSICAL SPACES IN AN EFFORT TO INTERPRET THE LANDSCAPE AND LINK THE HISTORY OF CANADA WITH THE BROADER HUMAN RIGHTS MOVEMENT.

THE BUILDING IS MADE UP OF CONCRETE TUBE-LIKE FORMS USING RISING SHUTTERS TO LEAVE GEOMORPHIC STRATA MARKS ACROSS LARGE SURFACES. PORTIONS OF CONCRETE ARE CLAD IN ROCK AT SHARP ANGLES TO SUGGEST ‘DISTURBANCE.’ STONE IS APPLIED MOSTLY TO THE PARK END OF THE BUILDING AND IS STRIPPED OFF TOWARD THE CITY END EXPOSING THE RAW CONCRETE STRATA. THE BUILDING REFLECTS AN ATTITUDE TO LANDSCAPE AND THE OFTEN-HARD STRUGGLE FOR A BETTER HUMAN CONDITION.

THE LANGUAGE OF THE ARCHITECTURE SETS OUT TO USE THE LOCAL LANDSCAPE AS A POWERFUL DEVICE TO CONTEXTUALISE THE BUILDING. THE INTERNAL NARRATIVE EXPERIENCE IS A HARROWING ONE AND ENDS WITH A REMINDER THAT IN THE SAME WAY THAT THE BUILDING RIPS OUT OF THE GROUND WITH TREMENDOUS FORCE AND DISRUPTION, SO THE POTENTIAL FOR HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSE IS STILL CLOSE TO THE SURFACE OF CONTEMPORARY SOCIETY.

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