Saturday, August 21, 2021


It is time for another museum tour, so soon after the last one. Early this month I crossed over to the Gatineau side of the Ottawa River to visit the Canadian Museum of History and a temporary exhibit, Queens of Egypt, which wraps up tomorrow. This view, from the Alexandra Bridge, takes in the exhibition wing at left and the curatorial wing on the right. The Museum, formerly the Museum of Civilization, has been at its present quarters since 1989. It was designed by Canadian First Nations architect Douglas Cardinal, and is considered his masterpiece, bearing his style of curvature, geological shapes, and cultural influences.

Here we approach, with the curatorial wing prominent in the background.

The curatorial wing has a terraced look in its curves. Cardinal has done numerous projects in many places. My American readers may have visited the National Museum of the American Indian, also one of his designs.

Coming towards the plaza between the two wings gives us this view.

Banners herald the present exhibition.

The area between the wings features pathways curving around grassy areas.

The main entrance to the exhibition wing deliberately evokes the head of a turtle, another nod by Cardinal to his ancestral roots. North America was, to some of the indigenous peoples, called Turtle Island.

One last view from the top of the stairs, with the exhibition wing to the side. Parliament Hill looms across the river. We go inside tomorrow and start looking at ancient history.


  1. All the curves are eye catching.

  2. The domes on top also evoke turtle shells to me. It's an attractive building.

  3. Wow. Hm. Not sure. Had one professor who loves organic-looking buildings and also asked what zodiac sign I was.
    Does that make my work, what zodiac sign I am?!!!
    It was a very small "gap between buildings" in Magdeburg as diploma. Round forms, huh.... I took another professor, another project (will show eventually).
    In your place, with the space, looks cool. Look forward to what´s inside.

  4. Very unique looking building. Happy weekend.

  5. It is a nice one, I have once visited it long ago...

  6. Hello,
    It is a cool looking museum, I like the design. Happy weekend to you!

  7. I always think that this is one of the most interesting and appealing buildings in the National Capital Region.

  8. @Marleen: they are.

    @Italiafinlandia: it is.

    @John: it's well designed.

    @Iris: Douglas Cardinal is a national treasure.

    @Nancy: thank you.

    @Marianne: it's quite a place to see.

    @Eileen: thanks.

    @David: I agree.

    @Jennifer: so do I.

    @Catarina: that it is.

  9. ...the architecture is wonderful.

  10. So enjoyed seeing the beautiful buildings, and the setting. They are well designed, and I also feel the pull of the land being replicated in the undulating curves of walks as well as the sides of the buildings. I could roam around the exterior for hours enjoying the different views like you've captured here. Yes, I hadn't put the entrance into being a turtle head before, but now I won't forget that.

  11. The landscaping suits the wonderful building so well!

  12. The architecture and grounds flow beautifully.

  13. I know Cardinal's work but I didn't know the museum was so huge.

  14. The architecture of this place is amazing.

  15. Antes de entrar en el Museo, has hecho bien en mostrarnos las fotos de su exterior. Aparte de lo que contenga en su interior, es bien interesante la arquitectura del edificio.

  16. Hi William, it's a little bit Gaudi-esque, although this is much more subdued. :)

    hope you have a great weekend,

  17. @Tom: it is marvelous.

    @Barbara: thank you.

    @RedPat: I agree.

    @Maywyn: definitely.

    @Red: one of his works is out your way.

    @Sharon: it really appeals to me.

    @Ventana: thank you.

    @Eden: I can see that.

  18. Form and function, form and function. Which followed which in this design?

  19. Fantastic building design ~ great photos ~ Xo

    Living in the moment,

    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  20. I hadn't been aware of the head of a turtle entrance.

  21. William - spectacular architecture!

  22. That building is a work of art.

  23. William the architecture of the museum is incredible, so pleased it was designed by a First Nations architect, superb!

  24. This building looks very nice.
    By the way, I like your header.

  25. It's a very unusual looking building, sort of reminds me of a head of a storm trooper from Star Wars.

  26. every time u show this building ... i always think ...what does it make me think of? ant hills? space ship? what??! interesting. ( ;