MOA Great Hall Renewal

Project Snapshot

Project Size: Renewal project
Budget: $39.90 million
Occupancy: 2024
Project Manager: UBC Facilities – Project Services

Project Summary

The Museum of Anthropology (MOA) received seismic upgrades to its Great Hall to improve its structural integrity and preserve the invaluable cultural significance and living heritage of its world-renowned Indigenous Northwest Coast collection. The project also upgraded the Great Hall skylights, lighting, roofing, window coverings, and sprinkler system.

MOA has important heritage value for UBC. The renewal team has approached the project sensitively, following conservation principles that address both the heritage values and character-defining elements of the site and the building. Feedback from the Arthur Erickson Foundation  informed the architectural and construction approach to the project, ensuring the Great Hall retains the appearance of the original space to preserve its architectural character and heritage values. Engagement with the Musqueam informed the approach to the site and landscape.

The design solution for the Great Hall seismic upgrade involved the use of base isolators under the suspended main floor slab to absorb the impact of seismic activity, separating the building from the ground and from the adjoining museum structures.

All of the massive wooden carvings that reside in the Great Hall were lowered and relocated elsewhere in the museum ahead of the construction. MOA liaised with Indigenous communities and families whose cultural objects are being moved from the Great Hall. They provided input into protocols around moving and re-installing these works into the Great Hall post-construction. The safety and protection of these irreplaceable Indigenous objects was of the highest priority to MOA’s team, who ensured they were well cared for before and during construction.

Learn more

Campus & Community Planning: Planning and development permit

Museum of Anthropology: Great Hall Seismic Upgrades + Renewal [December 29, 2020]

Museum of Anthropology: The Great Hall Renewal Project – Building for a New Era [on-going]

UBC News: Building resilience around MOA’s irreplaceable collection

CTV News: Iconic Vancouver landmark to be torn down and rebuilt to make it seismically safe

Vancouver Sun: One of B.C.’s iconic structures to be rebuilt

CityNews Vancouver: The Museum of Anthropology at UBC is undergoing a major seismic upgrade to the majestic Great Hall

Daily Hive: UBC Museum of Anthropology’s Great Hall undergoing $30.5 million rebuild

The Georgia Straight: UBC to rebuild Museum of Anthropology’s Great Hall for seismic upgrades

Victoria News (June 2024): B.C. Museum of Anthropology reopening after 18-month seismic upgrade

CBC (June 2024): UBC’s Museum of Anthropology reopening after 18 months

Create a Stir (June 2024): UBC Museum of Anthropology reopens after completion of challenging $30.5-million seismic upgrades

The Globe and Mail (June 2024): The Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia reopens after seismic upgrades