Canadian Museum for Human Rights

Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Winnipeg - United States, Antoine Predock
Construction year: 2008
Address: 85 Israel Asper Way | WINNIPEG | Canada | Visit Website
Latitude/Longitude: 49.89078, -97.13073

In 2003, the Friends of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights launched an international architectural competition for the design of the CMHR. 100 submissions from 21 countries worldwide were submitted. The judging panel chose the design submitted by Antoine Predock, an architect from Albuquerque, New Mexico.

His vision for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights is a journey, beginning with a descent into the earth where visitors enter the CMHR through the “roots” of the museum. Visitors are led through the Great Hall, then a series of vast spaces and ramps, before culminating in the Tower of Hope, a tall spire protruding from the CMHR that provides visitors with views of downtown Winnipeg.

Antoine Predock’s inspiration for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights came from the natural scenery and open spaces in Canada, including trees, ice, northern lights, First Nations peoples in Canada, and the rootedness of human rights action. According to Predock, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights is rooted in humanity, making visible in the architecture the fundamental commonality of humankind-a symbolic apparition of ice, clouds and stone set in a field of sweet grass. Carved into the earth and dissolving into the sky on the Winnipeg horizon, the abstract ephemeral wings of a white dove embrace a mythic stone mountain of 450 million year old Tyndall limestone in the creation of a unifying and timeless landmark for all nations and cultures of the world.

The base building has been substantially complete since the end of 2012. Throughout the foundation work of the CMHR, medicine bags created by elders at Thunderbird House, in Winnipeg, were inserted into the holes made for piles and caissons to show respect for Mother Earth. The Canadian Museum for Human Rights website had two webcams available for the public to watch the construction as it progressed.

For the construction of the Hall of Hope full of illuminated alabaster ramps, more than 3.500m² and 15.000 tiles of alabaster were used, making it the biggest project ever done with alabaster.

On 3 July 2010, Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, unveiled the building’s cornerstone. The stone bears the Queen’s royal cypher and has embedded in it a piece of stone from the ruins of St. Mary’s Priory, at Runnymede, England, where it is believed the Magna Carta was approved in 1215 by King John.

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