Located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights is the first museum in the world dedicated to the evolution, celebration, and future of human rights. It stands at the forks of the Red and Assiniboine rivers. The beautiful glass landmark was built by Antoine Predock—an American architect, landscape architect, and interior designer based in New Mexico.
Predock was picked from a competition pool of architects from sixty-four different countries. His design was chosen by the Museum’s Architectural Review Committee because it “could fulfill the objectives for an inspirational building that achieves a complexity relating to the diversity of human experience.” He began the project in the spring of 2009 with goal of melding the idea of human rights with an exceptional architectural form. The 260,000-ft2 building opened in the fall of 2014 and stands as a symbol for the road to understanding human rights. The structure builds on itself upward and culminates at the Tower of Hope—a 23-story glass spire 100 meters in the sky.
Filled with multi-sensory exhibits and alabaster crisscross galleries, the design provides dynamic and accessible exposure to human rights content. There are ten exhibit zones, including galleries such as “What are Human Rights?” and “Turning Points for Humanity”, that provide a vibrant space for education and conversation. Exceeding the Smithsonian standards, the museum prides itself on being the most accessibly designed in the world. In the midst of this colossal building, the international array of patrons have the chance to dine at the ERA Bistro and shop at the museum’s boutique.
Number TEN Architectural Group, a firm dedicated to sustainable practices, designed the interiors of the bistro and boutique. Heather Anderson was the project lead and chose to incorporate Rakks shelving systems into both interiors. Rakks shelving systems are strategically placed along the walls and in the display windows of the boutique. They hold an eclectic collection of handmade gifts with messages dedicated to human rights.
The ERA Bistro is a serene oasis for dining and cocktails. Walls are neutral dove gray. Metallic sculptures are suspended from the ceiling and gossamer window coverings separate the space from the museum’s busy public areas.
Heather Anderson explained how Rakks shelving systems were seamlessly integrated into both spaces. “Rakks was a great solution for our bistro and boutique, as we did not want to use a custom millwork approach to the shelving,” she said. “The aluminum finish of the Rakks shelving aligned with the refined, minimalist aesthetic of the boutique and bistro. We wanted adjustable shelving that allows the owner to easily change the shelving display to accommodate various product offerings and configurations.”
If you happen to be travelling in Canada, we highly recommend visiting this stunning architectural landmark.