Sunday, April 6, 2014

Museum of Civilization

On the same day in February when I went over to the Gatineau side of the Ottawa River to check out things in Jacques Cartier Park during Winterlude, I took a short walk to the Canadian Museum of Civilization, recently renamed the Museum of History (I'm not a fan of the change, which smacks of political interference by the control freak in the Prime Minister's office).  I found out that day that a temporary exhibit on at the time would soon be ending, so I came back a few days later, but these shots are from that day.

The museum explores Canadian history from thousands of years ago, and while its earliest roots go back to the mid-nineteenth century, the current building dates back to 1989. It was designed by a Canadian aboriginal architect, Douglas Cardinal, and stands on the shore of the Ottawa River.


It is divided into the curatorial wing, above and below, and the public museum, separated by a large staircase and promenade between the buildings. Cardinal's design evokes natural geography and wildlife, such as the Canadian Shield, the face of a glacier, or an animal in the shapes of the buildings, and incorporates water features (shut down this time of year) and parkland.


Here we have the west side of the curatorial wing, heading towards the public museum. The curving lines of these layers appeal to me.


And below we have the main entrance, the dome suggesting a turtle's body.


Walking past the main entrance onto a balcony, we get a view of the staircase taking the visitor down towards the river. The terraced structure you see between it and the glass wall is a fountain. Come summer, water will be spilling down its sides.


Another view gives us the full face of the glass wall. Behind it is the Grand Hall.


We'll be going into the Museum tomorrow, but for a taste, here's a view of the Hall taken on that day.








43 comments:

  1. I just love this building's architecture.

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  2. Thank you for posting so many photos of the Museum. it looks beautiful. Such flowing lines and shapes it is a joy to see.

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  3. A magnificent building marred only by winter's unyielding grip.

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  4. I can't wait. I've been wanting to go there for years...

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  5. Now that is one impressive building. Gotta put that on my Bucket List. Nice photos, too.

    Have you gotten word yet when spring is going to arrive? :)

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  6. Fantastic building! It really does evoke a certain sense of "Canadian-ness". :)

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  7. You might enjoy «Louis'» "Meanwhile in Canada" edition of The Friday Funnies.

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  8. What an amazing architecture! Love this building and I'm looking forward to seeing more of the museum.

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  9. I confess that I have never been there...but I would LOVE to!

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  10. Linda: so do I.

    Fun60: plenty more of it to come!

    Revrunner: it is remarkable in any season.

    Ciel: I figured sooner or later i'd get to touring the interior in these pages.

    Lowell: well, yesterday we were still getting snow.

    Halcyon: yes it does!

    Louis: I'll check that out!

    Jose: tomorrow we begin with an exhibit I found unsettling...

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  11. i do really like the forms in the building! like rock face worn by wind and water.

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  12. The building reminds me of a Henry Moore...so smooth and organic I want to stroke it.
    Jane x

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  13. If the works of art are just as nice as the building, you've had a great day, I think. I love the architecture of that museum.

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  14. The design of the building captures the eye for sure.

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  15. Interesting building. Would love to see it in a different season.

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  16. This building is really gorgeous. I love all the lines you've shown in your photos.

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  17. The Museum of History will go down in history :) I like the curves very much too William, wonderful design very appealing to the eye, looking forward to seeing inside.

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  18. EG: it is a magnificent place.

    Tex: Cardinal did a wonderful job with the design

    Jane and Chris: I always get reminded of the Shield when I see this place.

    Jan: it's modern but pleasing to the eye.

    Birdman: it is memorable.

    Barbara: so do I.

    Luis: I will photograph it in other seasons.

    Sharon: thank you!

    Grace: I'll be in here for a few days anyway.

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  19. The curved walls are intriguing. The great hall reminds me of Dulles Airport or the Kennedy Center in D.C.

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  20. A wonderful museum and an amazing architecture.

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  21. Yeah I like all those non-straight lines !

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  22. I really like the contours of that architecture.

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  23. An amazing building! Going back over your posts, I am impressed with this beautiful city. Look forward to seeing much more.
    Thank you for your kind comments and visits.

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  24. I've never seen this building but have always been so impressed with any pics I've seen of it. Looking forward to seeing the inside tomorrow.

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  25. I like good architecture, nice shots. Congrats.

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  26. @Linda: I'll have to look at them through google images!

    @VP: we're lucky here to have so many museums to wander through.

    @Stuart: it's much better than straight lines.

    @Bibi: it sometimes reminds me of water.

    @Judy: you're welcome!

    @Norma: I think so!

    @RedPat: you should visit it!

    @Inna: thank you!

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  27. Interesting structure, wow still plenty of snow there!

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  28. This looks like a fabulous building. It reminds me somewhat of the Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C. - part of the Smithsonian complex of museums.

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  29. It is a wonderful building, so modern looking!

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  30. What an awesome, fantastic building.

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  31. This was the building that finally had me revisit Ottawa! Stunning modern architecture.

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  32. I love the look of this museum, one I would enjoy exploring further. I'll look forward to your photos. Great shots William!

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  33. My goodness what an interesting looking building. The outside is a fascinating as the inside. Well maybe. MB

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  34. Isn't it amazing? I've taken many a student there for fields trips!

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  35. It is a wonderful and big building, interesting structure!

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  36. That architecture is very similar to one of our art museums in DC. It's one of my favorite buildings on the mall. Great shots!

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  37. I agree with several previous comments that the architecture of this building is as inreresting a ohoto subject as the contents it holds.

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  38. For some reason, this building reminds me of The Wall in Game of Thrones!

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  39. Interesting posting. Great architecture.

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  40. Amazing museum. Quite a varied collection of interesting topics and artifacts!

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