National Gallery of Canada, Limited Architectural Competition, Ottawa, Ontario (1976)
Part of:
  • John Cresswell Parkin (archive creator)

National Gallery of Canada, Limited Architectural Competition, Ottawa, Ontario (1976)



Level of archival description:
Extent and medium:
  • Approximately 211 drawings (including 88 reprographic copies)
    2 photographs
    0.24 l.m. of textual records
Scope and content:
This project series documents the design of the new National Gallery of Canada for a limited architectural competition in Ottawa, Ontario in 1976. The office identified the project number as 7630.
This project consisted of designing a new gallery to house Canada's most prized artworks and artefacts in a competition run by Public Works Canada on behalf of National Museums of Canada. The building site was down the street from Canada's parliament buildings, with views of the Ottawa River and across to Quebec. The design submitted by Parkin Architects Planners was highly modular, with cubes turned on an angle making up the majority of the building. The six-storey building design had three floors of galleries, while other levels were to be used for staff, services, and storage. A panel of international architects and representatives anonymously chose Parkin's design as the winner of the competition in early 1977. However, after cited lack of funds, and controversies over the chosen site and the way in which the competition was run, the newly formed Canada Museums Construction Company sought another design and architect for the new National Gallery. The dispute over this decision is recorded in materials from this project series and related project series. Eventually, Parkin did participate in the construction of the National Gallery's final design, but as the minor partner in a joint venture with Moshe Safdie (see materials in project series AP018.S1.1983.PR02 in this fonds for more information).
The project is recorded through drawings, including presentation boards, photographs, and textual records dating from 1974-1985. The drawings are a mix of original design drawings and site drawings. The site drawings were prepared for the competitors by Public Works Canada and the National Capital Commission. The drawings prepared by these government agencies are bilingual. The textual records primarily consist of guidelines, specifications, and other information from Public Works Canada to the competitors. The textual documentation also includes financial records and correspondence on the controversy surrounding the competition.
Reference number:


Materials in this project series have been kept in their original order and/or arranged by material type.

Ottawa Ontario Canada

Language of material:
  • English
  • French
Related units of description:
  • Records for related projects are also included in this fonds, see: AP018.S1.1978.PR07, National Gallery of Canada, Extended Site Study, Ottawa, Ontario; AP018.S1.1980.PR11, National Gallery of Canada, East - West Memorial Buildings Feasibility Study, Ottawa, Ontario; AP018.S1.1983.PR02, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario.

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