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UBC museum reopens after major seismic upgrade

Jun 17, 2024 | Public | 0 comments


The Museum of Anthropology (MOA) at UBC has reopened, following an 18-month closure that saw the successful completion of cutting-edge seismic upgrades to its Great Hall, coupled with the revitalization and reinterpretation of displays.

“It has been completely rebuilt from the ground up, incorporating innovative seismic technology into its foundations while restoring architect Arthur Erickson’s original 1976 design. Importantly, the displays in the Great Hall and other other gallery spaces have been revitalized and reinterpreted, in collaboration with First Nations communities and families whose objects and belongings are housed at the Museum. The completion of the seismic upgrades ensures the preservation and safety of this cultural heritage for future generations,” said Susan Rowley, MOA’s director.

Recognized as the first museum in Canada retrofitted with base isolation technology, MOA’s seismic upgrades are designed to protect the collections in the event of a major earthquake. Twenty-five base isolators have been installed under each of the Great Hall’s concrete columns to absorb the impact of seismic activity, separating the Great Hall from the ground and from the adjoining museum structure. Additionally, upgrades to the lighting, skylights, roofing, window coverings, carpeting and fire protection will further protect the collection.

MOA’s Great Hall was first identified by UBC as a high priority for seismic upgrades in 2017, as part of the university’s ongoing seismic planning. It was determined that a complete rebuild was the best approach to upgrading the resiliency of the space without compromising its architectural heritage.

Nick Milkovich Architects was selected as the architectural firm for the Great Hall’s renewal. As principal architect, Milkovich offered the project unique experience, having made the Museum’s original building models as an apprentice to Arthur Erickson in the 1970s. Milkovich’s intimate knowledge of the design ensured the iconic structure was rebuilt in Erickson’s original vision.

The $40 million project was funded by the provincial government, Canadian Heritage and UBC. Construction began in 2021, and in January 2023, the Museum was temporarily closed to accelerate the completion of the project.

The post UBC museum reopens after major seismic upgrade appeared first on REMINET.


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