The Planetarium is a Canada Centennial project completed in 1967 by architect Jack Long. The building is reflective of the world’s interest in space exploration at that time and is a celebrated example of Brutalist architecture.
Contemporary Calgary and the GGA/KPMB design team have focused on how to re-program the existing spaces and future additions while respecting the original building character and wonder. The design team approached the building with the philosophy that the existing building is an “introvert” with its brutalist solid concrete walls anything new was to be a transparent “extrovert” of expression comprised of inclusive compelling spaces to preserve the civic pride many share for this loved building.
The reconciling of existing spaces included utilizing areas to create dynamic artist in residence workshops, children’s classrooms, presentation theatre, dome projection gallery and important crucial back of house functionality. The new additions include a new entry pavilion to address challenges created by an alteration done to the building during the building of the west Light Rail Transit. The new entry welcomes a new plaza area that supports connections to the LRT and river-paths. The future north gallery brings forth the world class A gallery spaces required to attract artists from around the globe while respecting the existing façade and influenced by the proximity to the river.