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A vision realized: Rights museum comes into form with installation of last piece of glass

News release details

Construction crews hoisted and set into place the final piece of glass on the Canadian Museum for Human Rights this morning, marking the end of the most significant phase of the building's construction and bringing architect Antoine Predock's celebrated design fully to life.

"The architectural sketches we've become so familiar with are no longer just a vision," said Stuart Murray, the museum's President and CEO. "With the last piece of glass in place, what was once an artist's drawing today emerges fully realized."

The piece of glass installed today on the museum's Tower of Hope is the last of 1,669 individual, custom-cut panes that give the museum its iconic look. Finishing the external glasswork brings construction of the museum's major exterior design components to completion.

"The generosity of 7,300 private donors, and all of Canadians through the contributions of each level of government, has brought us to this moment," said Gail Asper, O.C., O.M. LL.D., National Campaign Chair, Friends of the CMHR. "After years of planning, it is thrilling and rewarding for Canadians to see their new human rights museum in its full form."

With the glasswork finished, the construction crane that has become a fixture on the Winnipeg skyline in recent months will be lowered and removed from the building site. Crews will soon wrap up exterior non-structural design work such as stonework on the museum's roots and preparing the site for landscaping.

Museum officials noted today's milestone marks an important transition in the project's development. With the museum's exterior form fully realized, the focus shifts to now completing the museum's interior spaces, including setting the stage within the gallery spaces for exhibit construction through 2013 and 2014.

For more information:

Angela Cassie
Director of Communications
Canadian Museum for Human Rights
(204) 289‑2110

Media Backgrounder

Canadian Museum for Human Rights Construction Facts

  • The final piece of glass installed today is the last of 1,669 individual, custom-cut panes surrounding the museum. There are 1,335 panes of glass on the museum's "cloud" and 334 on the Tower of Hope.
  • The glass at the very tip of the Tower of Hope stretches 328 feet into the air –– 78 feet higher than Manitoba's Golden Boy and 25 feet higher than the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.
  • The type of glass used in the museum was selected for its environmental attributes. The glass was manufactured with a frit pattern to help make the building easier to heat and cool.
  • The glass surrounding the museum has been weather tested to stand up to Manitoba's climate. The testing was carried out by E.H. Price, a Winnipeg-based company.
  • The steel skeleton visible beneath the museum's glasswork contains 5,400 tonnes of steel, equivalent to the amount it would take to build 27 diesel electric locomotives.
  • The museum's concrete foundation and cores weigh 35,000 tonnes, roughly the weight of 3,000 fully grown male elephants.
  • The iconic design of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights was selected following an international competition that garnered submissions from architects in 21 countries.
  • Construction of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights is creating the equivalent of 6,000 full-time jobs. At this stage of construction, there are approximately 350 skilled tradespeople working on the museum construction site.
  • Museum construction alone is generating more than $53 million in new federal taxes, and will generate a subsequent $4.5 million annually in perpetuity once the CMHR opens its doors in 2014.
  • Museum construction is supported by more than 7,000 private donors from across Canada, and by all Canadians through the contributions of all three levels of government.