Perspective

Development Plan

The development of the Canadian Museum of Architecture in its entirety is a long term endeavour, expected to be accomplished in phases. At this time the Museum is at the initial planning stage with a focus on the successful design and execution of the first phase.

This first phase (Phase One) may be thought of as a prototype or proof of concept. It will see the establishment of an infrastructure and the creation of several permanent exhibits and possibly a temporary exhibit. Phase One will provide a base for further development and yield experience that can guide the evolution of the Museum.

Subsequent phases are anticipated to see an expansion of the number of exhibits, a more sophisticated service delivery model, a stronger fundraising effort and more intensive public relations. Major effort will be devoted to integrating the Museum into its various communities, establishing relationships with other museums, sponsoring special exhibitions, and so on.

The Changing Role of Museums

Driven increasingly by information technology, our way of life has undergone a great deal of disruption and change in the last two decades. The role of museums is shifting in conjunction with many other aspects of our social and cultural environment. It is not possible to predict even the near term course of this trend for museums with any degree of accuracy.

The inception of the Canadian Museum of Architecture will provide an opportunity to observe the relative success or failure of various approaches to museum structure, organization and operations. Effort will be made to gather information about these factors and use it to guide the development of the institution.

The Relevance of Architecture

Though our natural surroundings have been extensively modified with the creation of built environments, we seldom pause to consider the impact that this has on the lives of individuals at all levels. In fact, who we are as a people is reflected in our architecture and, in turn, that architecture is a key factor that shapes us.

The origins of architecture date to prehistoric times and even as a formally studied discipline, it has a lengthy history. Architecture has undergone rapid evolution in recent decades with the development of technology, new materials and dramatically changing societal needs.

Constructing and maintaining the structures for living, working and leisure activity consume a large share of the world’s resources. In turn, the deployment of those resources and optimization of their use is a function of architectural design.

In Canada some 40% of energy consumption is devoted to heating and cooling buildings. Bringing about the necessary conservation measures and accommodating to our changing climate will require modifications to our built environment and hence our architectural approach.

Population growth is putting pressure on our urban centers and causing increasingly severe and deleterious effects on our environment. Adequate housing is considered to be a human right. Architecture is a key tool with which to address these complex problems.

Architectural esthetics are a function of our culture and play a fundamental role in defining the stature of our country and affect the well-being of its population. This is particularly important in our major cities and their suburbs. Pleasing, well designed and attractive buildings foster innovation and productivity.

The architecture of an age or a people reflects its technology, historical events, artistic styles, political processes, social organization and so on. Consequently the study of architecture is integral to understanding the human condition.