The National Mountain Centre
In 2002, a group of committed mountain enthusiasts based in the Canadian Rockies came together with a vision to create a national center devoted to celebrating, understanding and better experiencing the mountains.
Located in Canmore, Alberta, north of the Trans Canada highway at the gateway to Banff National Park, the NMC will promote responsible and sustainable tourism, serving a crucial role in interpreting the nature, history, culture, science and sport of Canada’s mountains.
Inspired by geological strata, the centre will consist of juxtaposed layers with different activities taking place within, on and under the delaminated layers.
Visitors will have a spatial experience analogous to that of a mountain hike with a continuous promenade with mountain views and exhibited artefacts.
The mountains themselves will become a permanent exhibit with distinct views framed by the spaces between the centre’s strata.
As one of Western Canada’s great icons, a pre-eminent tourist destination attracting visitors from all walks of life, the centre will consist of recreational, commercial and public spaces with features such as a world-class competitive climbing wall, permanent and temporary exhibits, research, meeting facilities, and state-of-the-art multimedia presentation theatres.
Saucier + Perrotte Architectes and Marc Boutin Architects were commissioned by the founding board of the NMC to develop the initial architectural concept in 2006.