We have an exciting update to share about the Parks Canada Collections and Curatorial Centre project, a collaboration between Moriyama Teshima Architects and NFOE Inc. currently under construction in Gatineau, Quebec. The purpose of this new facility is to ensure the sustainable, long-term preservation and conservation of Parks Canada’s collection of historical and archeological artifacts for the benefit of future generations.
The collection areas of the building are clad in white precast, with gently angled fluting to represent the mass of a birch forest – the birch tree bearing significance not only as the provincial tree of Quebec, but also as a sacred tree for the Algonquin Anishnabek of the region. In addition, the project site itself is surrounded by birch trees, invoking a unique environmental quality where the architecture blends with its surrounding.
As seen in the following photographs, the office block, contrastingly, is clad in a profiled fluted and textured terracotta panel. Terracotta was selected for its elevated levels of durability: a critical design parameter for a collection facility, but also for its low carbon footprint. The panels are glazed in a golden yellow colour, which is reminiscent of a birch forest in the fall season. This material also deeply resonated amongst the Parks Canada specialists, drawing parallels with Park Canada’s large collection of earthen wares from archeological digs and assets from the National historic sites.