The Materials Book

97 courtyard. About one third of the galleries are laid out in the first underground level around two sunken gardens, while the majority of the galleries is in the tower that rises above the courtyard. From the tower, visitors can look over the city to the ocean and mountains beyond—a typical Vancouver view. Elevating this mass frees up the public space underneath, letting in sun from the sides while providing shelter during rainy periods. The pragmatic composite structure of the museum is made of concrete, steel, wood, and glass. Utilizing wood—an underused local, renewable material—helps promote its use for larger structures. The museum welcomes people into the space by offering a human scale among the glass towers of downtown, and it relates to the specificities of the climate by providing shade from the sun and protection from rain.