Audain Art Museum

Light weaves culture to nature.

With a goal to diversify Whistler’s resort economy and theme-park architecture, this museum could very well be the catalyst that brings in a new crowd. The abstract structure, design by Vancouver based Patkau Architects, fuses into the site’s surrounding terrain. The public areas are primarily wood which create a connection from inside and out. It was a goal of the design team to light the surfaces of the wood but limit the light from escaping into the night sky and surrounding areas. Warm and small scale fixtures were selected to integrate into architectural wood slat details and create a welcoming and cozy hospitality feel.

The design team and curators coordinated specific ranges of illumination for temporary and permanent galleries which house sensitive artworks from coastal British Columbia. In order to deliver a pragmatic lighting system, LED replacement lamps were designed in the art galleries and also included potentiometer dimmers on each fixture for fine tuning of the light levels. In interior and exterior public areas, spotlights carefully integrated into wood slat and linear lighting incorporated into handrails provide a comfortable level of light while remaining hidden.

Project Highlights

• LED replacement lamps
• Utilized potentiometer dimmers
• Flexible track + spotlight solutions


Patkau Architects


Project Background

• 56,000 square feet
• $43.5 million

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