National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario (1983)
Part of:
  • John Cresswell Parkin (archive creator)
  • John Cresswell Parkin (architect)
  • Moshe Safdie (architect)

National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario (1983)



Level of archival description:
Extent and medium:
  • 295 drawings (including 257 reprographic copies)
    3 photographic materials
    0.375 l.m. of textual records
Scope and content:
This project series documents the design and construction of the new National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, Ontario from 1983-1988. The office identified the project number as 8303.
In 1977, Parkin Architects Planners won a limited architectural competition for their design of the new National Gallery of Canada. However, after cited lack of funds, and controversies over the chosen site as well as how the competition was run, the newly formed Canada Museums Construction Company sought another design and architect for the new National Gallery. The building site was also moved from its original location near the Canadian parliament buildings on Wellington Street to the corner of Sussex Drive and St Patrick Street. Eventually, Moshe Safdie, in joint venture with Parkin Architects Planners, were chosen as the architects for the project. Parkin was the minor partner in this joint venture and his firm's work seemed to focus more on construction than design. The dispute over this decision can be found in the textual records of project series AP018.S1.1976.PR23 in this fonds. This project was commissioned by Public Works Canada and the Canada Museum Construction Company, both federal government agencies.
The project is recorded through drawings, photographs and textual records dating from 1976-1989. The drawings consist largely of structural and construction drawings for the project. Some drawings in this project series were prepared by Public Works Canada. The textual records for this project include specifications, financial records, change order documentation, correspondence, interoffice letters, documentation on the competition controversy and competition reports. The textual records also focus heavily on a dispute between Parkin/Safdie and the client regarding the architects' professional fees.
Reference number:


Materials in this project series have been compiled from different accessions and/or arranged by material type.
Conditions governing reproduction:
  • Jennifer A.C. Parkin holds copyright to materials from accession AR1997:0021. Permission must be sought from copyright holder before reproductions can be made.

Ottawa Ontario Canada

Related units of description:
  • Records for related projects are also included in this fonds, see: AP018.S1.1976.PR23, National Gallery of Canada, Limited Architectural Competition, Ottawa, Ontario; 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. Note that most of the design drawings for this project were made by Moshe Safdie and are held at McGill University's Canadian Architectural Collection archive.

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