Due to open to the public in 2016, Remai Modern is one of the most visionary new art museum developments in North America. The building faces the South Saskatchewan River to the south and 2nd Avenue to the east.
Designed by the renowned Canadian architectural firm, KPMB, it will be a striking building from the outside and will offer equally captivating views from within the building. Inspired by the local landscape and the rich history of architectural modernism, the design won a 2011 Award of Excellence from Canadian Architect magazine, well before construction started.
The Prairie-style form responds to the low, flat topography of Saskatchewan’s natural landscape and evokes agrarian traditions of building indigenous low-rise, linear structures. The exterior will be clad in a metal mesh screen, whose copper colour was inspired by the Bessborough Hotel (CNR, 1932), one of Saskatoon’s historic architectural landmarks located further north along the river.
The modernist spirit, initiated with the opening of the Mendel Art Gallery in 1964 and Fred Mendel’s original gift of artwork, is evolving into a more interpretive, challenging, international and unexpected approach to art as Remai Modern echoes the modern Prairie perspective.
The new building is supported by all levels of government and, most importantly, by generous donors, including families and corporations. To date, $82 million has been pledged toward the cost of construction of the gallery. The gallery will also be served by a $19.5-million underground parkade owned and operated by the City.