Museum of Surrey

  • Location

    Surrey, BC

The new, expanded Museum of Surrey serves its diverse community as an exemplary cultural space in one of Canada’s fastest growing cities. HCMA were engaged to design the building expansion and campus, as well as establish a refreshed mission, vision, and brand for the facility.

The museum's new tagline, ‘Connecting People and Stories’, was inspired by both the city’s diverse population and the museum's array of rich collections and programs.

HCMA Response

HCMA worked closely with staff from both the City and the museum to create an inviting place that is comfortable and intimate enough to stay, enjoy, learn and share.

The new museum needed to reflect an understanding of its role as a neighbourhood hub for a diverse and evolving community, and help make it a cherished and irreplaceable destination in Surrey. Site visits to the museum allowed us to engage and experience a vibrant pulse in both the passion of the staff and the depth of the collections. During these visits, something stood out as a metaphor for Surrey’s culturally rich community – the textile collections. These collections and their colours provided the inspiration for both the architecture seen in the museum expansion and for the museum’s brand colours.

We found common colour tones in artifacts that revealed a mosaic of cultures and a colourful community. From this exploration, we chose four key tones for the Museum’s colour palette: blue, pink, red and yellow. The museum’s walls were conceived as a traditional textile, telling rich stories and taking visitors on a journey through material relationships in context, in-between spaces, visual connection, and vibrant environmental graphics and signage.

The museum sits beneath a fully exposed dowel-laminated timber roof structure spans above, an aspirational story of sustainability and innovation which elegantly integrates all building services.