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12 Oct 2018

Canadian art gallery and library proposal seeks state permission for approval
BY Luke Cloherty

Architect Jennifer Marshall has submitted plans for the pluralistic mixed-use idea, which would see paintings hung in the library itself

Architect Jennifer Marshall has submitted plans for the pluralistic mixed-use idea, which would see paintings hung in the library itself

The town of Smithers, BC, Canada might be about to get an art gallery-cum-library if planning is approved by the state council.

Architect Jennifer Marshall, of the Space 2 Place Landscape team at Urban Arts Architecture, has submitted plans for the pluralistic mixed-use idea, which would see paintings hung in the library itself.

The main focus for Marshall is having shared spaces between the art gallery and library, so a multi-purpose room, shared entrance and movable wall are all included in the plans, while a gift shop is also a possibility.

The town already has a public library and an art gallery, but Marshall’s plan would see those both replaced and merged, with collections from both being housed in the new building.

The building itself will stretch to an area of around 12,000sq ft (1,115sq m) but an additional 1,500sq ft (1,340sq m) of space is earmarked for a possible Smithers Exploration Group (SEG) mineral collection area.

A sticking point in the council’s planning decision is based on finances. The council suggested a budget of no more than CA$10m (US$7.7m, €6.7m, £5.9m) but Marshall’s plans run at a cost of CA$15.9m (US$12.2m, €10.7m, £9.4m).

The council has asked both Marshall and town staff to look at the figures again to see if they can cut costs, particularly construction cost inflation, which consultants hired by the architect have priced at CA$3.5m (US$2.7m, €2.4m, £2m).



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