Queen Elizabeth II Planetarium Restoration | ?m | 1s | City of Edmonton | Arch|TB


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Sep 22, 2015
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Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Paula Simons: Restoring the Queen Elizabeth II Planetarium, the jewel in the crown of Coronation Park
It’s back to the future for Edmonton’s long-deserted Queen Elizabeth II Planetarium.

The city and the Telus World of Science-Edmonton have come to an agreement to renovate and restore the beautiful old planetarium as a teaching, reception and production space. The deal will take one of Edmonton’s truly landmark buildings out of stasis and give it a new mission.

“It was the right thing for us to do, to work with the city to bring the QEP back to life,” says Alan Nursall, president and CEO of the Telus World of Science. “It’s our heritage. It’s our legacy. It’s where we came from. We want to preserve it as an icon of Edmonton history.”

The city has commissioned Architecture|Tkalcic Bengert to come up with designs to restore the building to its 1960 glory, complete with updates to make it accessible for people in wheelchairs and others with mobility impairments. The city also plans, at long last, to grant the building heritage designation and protection.

Full Story (Edmonton Journal)

The stars align for Planetarium designation

March 22, 2017

City Council approved the designation of the Queen Elizabeth ll Planetarium as a Municipal Historic Resource yesterday.

The Queen Elizabeth ll Planetarium, located in Coronation Park, is distinguished as an early example of Modern Expressionistic Style in Canada. The building exhibits unique stylistic elements, including its circular plan, the lightness of the structure, the transparency of the public gathering areas, and the central dome that displays the primary function of the building as a planetarium. The design was likely influenced by the popular fascination with space age design in the 1950s. It has the appearance of a spacecraft hovering off the ground. The first Director was Ian McLennan, who has since become an internationally-recognized expert in strategic planning and management of planetaria and science centres throughout the world.

“The designation of the Queen Elizabeth II Planetarium illustrates the City’s commitment to the preservation of its historic resources,” says David Johnston, Principal Heritage Planner. “In this case, we get the added bonus of a wonderful partnership between the City and the TELUS World of Science Edmonton to bring life back to this fantastic building.”

The Planetarium, the first in Canada, was designed to be the main focal point of Coronation Park and was officially opened September 23, 1960, by Mayor Elmer E. Roper. The site for the future Planetarium was dedicated by Queen Elizabeth herself during her Royal visit to Edmonton in July 1959.

Although associated with Robert Falconer Duke, the City Architect at the time, its design was largely the creation of Denis Mulvaney, an architect with the City until 1961. Mulvaney was also responsible for the design of the original Storyland Valley Zoo, as well as numerous power sub-stations around the city. Mulvaney moved to Sydney, Australia in 1961, where he was involved in the design of the Sydney Opera House.

The City's Historic Resource Management Plan outlines the City's mission to identify, protect and promote the preservation and use of historic resources. The Plan contains 24 policies and 88 action items that direct how Edmonton's heritage should be preserved and celebrated.

For more information:

Media contact:
Adrienne Hill
Communications Advisor
Sustainable Development

Queen Elizabeth ll Planetarium designated Edmonton historic resource
The Queen Elizabeth ll Planetarium was designated a municipal historic resource by Edmonton City Council on Tuesday.

The city said the planetarium, located in Coronation Park near the TELUS World of Science, is “distinguished as an early example of modern expressionistic style in Canada.”

The historic Edmonton landmark is currently being brought back to life after being abandoned for years. Last fall, the city and the TWoS reached an agreement to renovate and restore the planetarium as a teaching, reception and production space.


Iconic Edmonton planetarium designated as municipal historic resource
One of Edmonton's most futuristic buildings has been protected for its historic value.

City council on Tuesday approved the designation of the Queen Elizabeth II Planetarium in Coronation Park as a municipal historic resource.

The domed structure "is distinguished as an early example of Modern Expressionistic style in Canada," the city said in a news release Wednesday.

"The design was likely influenced by the popular fascination with space-age design in the 1950s," the city said. "It has the appearance of a spacecraft hovering off the ground."


PERMIT_DATE February 07, 2019
JOB_CATEGORY Commercial Final
JOB_DESCRIPTION To construct exterior alterations (barrier-free access ramp and mechanical enclosure screen) and interior alterations (universal public washroom) to an existing Natural Science Exhibit building (Queen Elizabeth II Planetarium).
BUILDING_TYPE Indoor Recreational Buildings (560)
WORK_TYPE (03) Exterior Alterations
FLOOR_AREA 3,121.53
Restoration work on the Queen Elizabeth II Planetarium is basically completed and it looks like it's nearly read to open. They've really done a great job — especially so if you remember it in its previously decrepit state — and it's super encouraging to see the City taking such an active step in preserving our Modernist heritage. I didn't grab any pictures of the new washroom at the rear but sufficient to say it looks pretty similar in fit and finish to the ones at the Borden Park Pavilion, if not with flashier tile work.

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