A play of light and wood — Audian Art Museum

Surrounded by tranquil natural landscape, the form and character of the Audain Art Museum, designed by Patkau Architects, is intentionally restrained to provide a quiet, minimal backdrop to the art inside and the nature outside.

The interior of the Audain Art Museum (Photo credit: James Dow / Patkau Architects)

The Audain Art Museum is a 56,000 square foot private museum located in Whistler, British Columbia.

The exterior is cladded in dark metal which blends into the shadows of the nearby trees. Extensive application of wood for interior wall and ceiling finishes and casework largely define the character and experience of these spaces. 

 

(Photo credit: James Dow / Patkau Architects)

(Photo credit: James Dow / Patkau Architects)

The project used Pacific Coast hemlock sourced from sustainably managed forests and practices in Whistler and floated down the Fraser River to Vancouver to be sawn, grade-sorted and kiln- dried.

(Photo credit: James Dow / Patkau Architects)

The wood was precision milled in Maple Ridge, factory-finished in Squamish and then shipped back to Whistler to be assembled and installed.

(Photo credit: James Dow / Patkau Architects)

The design of the museum is shaped by three factors. The first of which is the need to house both the permanent exhibition of Michael Audains collection and also temporary exhibits of all kinds from across Canada and around the world. The second is the beautiful but challenging site in Whistler which, although blessed by magnificent forest landscape, is situated within the floodplain of Fitzsimmons Creek. The third is the tremendous amount of snowfall typical of Whistler which averages nearly 15 ft annual accumulated depth.