Robert Claiborne, DIALOG Partner, recently spoke with Avenue Calgary Magazine to discuss the ongoing renovations to Calgary’s Glenbow museum.
When Robert Claiborne visited Glenbow back in 2013, he was immediately struck by the potential of the aged museum. “I spent three hours in Glenbow, and I left there with my sketchbook and just said, I’ve got a million ideas on how this building can be changed, revitalized, reimagined,” he says.
The transformation centres on natural light: the careful removal of floor plates will create a soaring central gallery and additional double-height gallery spaces. Transparent storage will allow visitors to see even collections that aren’t out on display. A rooftop terrace will open to the Alberta sky while a new “skin” — a unique concrete material that appears to float over the existing building — will be installed to protect the structure. Perhaps the most evocative elements of the design are the two prominent street-level entrances — Glenbow has never before had an entrance door that led right into the museum. In addition to serving as a “welcome mat” for visitors to the museum, the doors will provide sightlines through the gallery and allow light to flow in.