Heneghan Peng unveils winning design for canoe museum in Canada

Irish studio Heneghan Peng Architects has unveiled its competition-winning design for the Canadian Canoe Museum in Ontario – a wavy waterside structure with glass walls and a grass roof (+ slideshow).

Canadian Canoe Museum by Henegan Peng Architects

The Dublin firm worked with Toronto-based Kearns Mancini Architects on the design of the serpentine structure, which will wind along the bank of the Trent-Severn canal.

The CAD$45 million (£22 million) building will occupy the bank of the waterway below the Peterborough Lift Lock, a hydraulic boat lift built in the early 20th century.

Canadian Canoe Museum by Henegan Peng Architects

The structure will be partially embedded in the ground to protect the world's largest collection of canoes and kayaks – including a selection of 18th-century birch bark canoes and aboriginal artefacts – from strong sunlight.

"The design works organically with the land rather than overwhelming it," said the firm."The museum embraces aboriginal wisdom to live and build lightly on the land."

Canadian Canoe Museum by Henegan Peng Architects

The 7,500-square-metre structure will also host a restaurant, workshops and event spaces. These spaces will offer views of the water through glazed walls to the south and east.

An undulating parapet made from local hardwood will surround the two-acre green roof, which will feature an edible garden, native flowers and aboriginal planting including corn, beans and squash crops.

Canadian Canoe Museum by Henegan Peng Architects

"No matter where you are inside the museum or outside standing on its roof, you will always be able to see the water, and a canoe waiting to be paddled by you," said jury chair Lisa Rochon.

"It's going to change the way we think about architecture, place making and the canoe – a true icon of design."

Canadian Canoe Museum by Henegan Peng Architects

The building will include geothermal heating cooling systems, helping to offset energy consumption and achieve a LEED Gold sustainability certification.

The project is scheduled to commence in 2017 and complete by 2020.

Canadian Canoe Museum by Henegan Peng Architects

Heneghan Peng is led by architects Róisín Heneghan and Shih-Fu Peng. Past projects by the studio include the Giants' Causeway visitor centre in Northern Ireland, pub-like offices for Airbnb in Dublin and a campus for the University of Greenwich's architecture in London

This article has been updated to amend the estimated cost of the project. 

Renders are by Luxigon.


Project credits:

Design architect: Heneghan Peng architects
Architect of record: Kearns Mancini Architects
Building services and structural engineers: Arup
Landscape architect: Foggy River Farm Design
Lighting design: Bartenbach
Food service planning and design: Kaizen
Exhibit design: Haley Sharpe, Reich + Petch

Canadian Canoe Museum by Henegan Peng Architects
Ground floor plan – click for larger image