Museum of Anthropology

University of British Columbia

Location:

 Vancouver, Canada

Client/Owner:

 University of British Columbia

Services:

 Architectural

Construction:

 Phase I – $3 million, Phase II – $3 million

Completion:

 Phase I – 1976, Phase II – 1988

About this Project

Jenkins/Gales & Martinez has a long-established working relationship with Arthur Erickson, the Doyen of Canadian Architecture. JGM provided Construction Documents services for his Museum of Anthropology, perched on the cliffs overlooking the Straits of Georgia and the North Shore Mountains. The essence of this museum are the artifacts of Northwest aboriginal peoples – and the necessity of preservation from the elements through visible storage, eliminating the need for rotating collections. The museum also replicates aboriginal settlements around a pond on the site with indigenous vegetation and plays on recurrent Erickson themes of water, earth berms, and sky. The central focus of the museum is a sublime Great Hall, housing and protecting massive totem poles, under a series of daylit monitors, flooding the space in nuanced, constantly changing, diffuse light. Forty-foot high suspended glazing provides north light and continuity with the exterior setting for viewing the totem poles. The Musem has been expanded to accommodate public groups as well as the original user groups from the UBC community. This facilitates a greater range of programs, housing of traveling exhibits and anthropologically oriented performance outside Museum hours of operation.