Herzog & de Meuron Vancouver Art Gallery-2 Photo: Hangean Luo/Flickr

The renowned Swiss architectural firm behind such iconic buildings as London’s Tate Modern and Beijing’s Bird’s Nest Olympic stadium (pictured above) has been chosen to design the new Vancouver Art Gallery.

Herzog & de Meuron beat out four other design firms for the privilege, thanks, according to the Globe and Mail, to their strong museum-building CV and a made-for-Vancouver vision. From the Globe:

“They’re artists’ architects,” said gallery director Kathleen Bartels in an interview, several hours after the VAG board approved the architect selection committee’s recommendation.

“They understand artists. They’ve worked with artists for their entire professional career and they know what that means.”

The gallery will be built on a downtown site across from the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. At some 300,000 square feet, the new VAG will be more than twice the size of its current home, a former provincial courthouse renovated by Arthur Erickson.

And what will the new building look like? According to the Globe, the architects will travel British Columbia to get a feel for the place before submitting their conceptual designs in early 2015. So for now all we can do is speculate, which we’re more than happy to do. Below are five Herzog & de Meuron-designed museums and galleries. Try to imagine each building with an appropriate West Coast motif, you know, lots of greenery and jagged, mountain-like edges.

Parrish Art Museum, New York

Parrish Art Museum-1 Parrish Art Museum-2 Parrish Art Museum-3 Photos: Matthu Placek

De Young Museum, San Francisco

de Young Museum-1 Photo: de Young Museum

de Young Museum-2 Photo: Emily Hoyer/Flickr

Perez Art Museum, Miami

Perez Art Museum-1 Perez Art Museum-2 Perez Art Museum-3 Photos: Iwan Baan

Walker Art Center, Minneapolis

Walker Art Center-2 Photo: A. Thompson/Flickr
Walker Art Center-1
Photo: paula soler-moya/Flickr

Prada Aoyama, Tokyo

Prada Aoyama-1 Photo: Masaomi/Flickr

Prada Aoyama-2 Photo: Darren Poon/Flickr

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