The new Collections and Research building for the Royal BC Museum on the traditional ancestral territory of the lək̓ʷəŋən (Lekwungen) peoples, will provide critical infrastructure to preserve the province’s collections of over 7 million culturally significant items and the BC Archives, along with dedicated research labs and learning resources. The building will also be an open public space, welcoming the community and visitors to listen, learn, and become part of the story, with improved access to the vast and diverse collections.
Creating an elegant and efficient building that is deeply connected to the local landscape and culture is paramount to the design. The natural, carbon-capturing mass timber structure is inherently appropriate to this forested coastal location, using responsibly sourced timber from BC and creating over 1,000 local jobs. The building has been carefully planned to meet rigorous sustainability standards, including LEED Gold Certification. Integrating into the surrounding natural environment, the design will celebrate the local weather and unique flora and fauna, expressed in a series of connecting indoor and outdoor spaces.
This building has a unique and important function – to provide safe and effective facilities that will protect and preserve millions of cultural, environmental, and historical items. The project has been designed specifically to the highest standards for the stewardship of these significant objects while they are in the care of the Royal BC Museum.
The building itself aims to encourage dialogue, exploration, and connection between people, and with the land, through thoughtful layouts and design details. The interiors will focus on storytelling, and allow visitors to view objects and displays, watch researchers at work, and create engagement between staff and the public. It will be a working, functional facility, as well as a place for reflection, sharing, and community gathering.
"MGA is honoured to be chosen to design the new Collections and Research facility for the Royal BC Museum. This project will create sustainable, interactive public spaces alongside important preservation and research facilities that support communication, learning, and community. In our process of listening and collaboration, we are committed to creating a place that helps us connect with each other and to the place we live."
“The Songhees Nation looks forward to partnering with the Royal BC Museum and the Province in the development of the new collections and research building project on lək̓ʷəŋən Territory. As one of the host Nations for this important public building, we look forward to providing guidance and direction in the design, workers and contractors for the construction. This project will be a valuable resource for many generations to come, and highlights the need for collaboration while building respectful relationships between Indigenous communities and museums.”