Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Project Size: 18,000 square feet

New Mandate for a Nations Gateway

The museum tells the profound stories of the history of Pier 21 as an important gateway to Canada. A new mandate to foster public understanding of the experience of immigrants and to highlight the contributions they have made to Canada’s ever evolving culture, economy, and way of life. The mandate necessitated a major re-visioning of the Museum in all respects transitioning from an historic site to a national facility. The mandate brought to life within the exhibitions in two galleries: the Pier 21 Story and the Canadian Immigration Story. In June 2015, the Museum re-opened with stunning, fully-bilingual and accessible interactive exhibits incorporating traditional and interactive digital media.

Storytelling Through Colourful Mosaics

The exhibits include a number of “WOW” moments: an immersive recreation of an ocean vessel’s dining room and cabin, transporting visitors into an ocean voyage to Canada; a scaled recreation of a Colonist Train Car has visitors being transported across Canada while listening to Oral Histories of real immigrant stories; colourful mosaic patterns used as destination walls within exhibition zones with each section taking a cue from a general mosaic colour palette. Colours and saturations change through the sections as visitors follow the path of immigrants to Canada; from an almost monochromatic palette at the beginning of the narrative to an extraordinarily vivid and vibrant mosaic pattern in the final section of the exhibition.

kubik maltbie was the contract holder for the design build and responsible for project management. A unique aspects of the Museum was the incorporation of dynamic Oral Histories throughout the galleries with the ability to be updated with new content from a custom content management system created by our team.

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