Ingenium Centre opens to the public for the first time as part of Doors Open Ottawa

For more information, please contact:
Andrea Chin, Communications Director

Duncan Higgins, Principal

May 23, 2024

Ottawa, ON – The Ingenium Centre, which conserves and showcases the country’s national science and technology collection—entrusted to Canada’s three museums of science and innovation—is officially launching collection tours as part of Doors Open Ottawa on June 1; and will be offering guided tours beginning in summer 2024. Designed by Diamond Schmitt, in joint venture with KWC Architects, the facility consolidates the artifacts of the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, and the Canada Science and Technology Museum for the first time, while also affording additional repository space for the National Gallery of Canada.  The Ingenium Centre is a purpose-built museological storage and conservation facility, a colourful cabinet of curiosities, that conserves and protects this eclectic collection, fusing Canada’s past to its future.

Located next door to the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa, the Ingenium Centre presents an opportunity for unparalleled collection accessibility. As the museum displays only approximately 12% of the national collection, providing public access to the Ingenium Centre opens up more than 150,000 objects and nearly two million archival items to discovery.

The design of the Ingenium Centre is driven by the linearity of the site, framing the view to the Canada Science and Technology Museum and providing visitors with a covered promenade approach. A new public plaza provides shared amenities between the Museum and the Ingenium Centre, creating a space to secure bicycles, sit in the shade of honey-locust trees or enjoy a historic train exhibit on special event days.  

Above this shared entry plaza, colourful fins represent each constituent museum: Green for the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum; Blue for the Canada Aviation and Space Museum; and, Red for the Canada Science and Technology Museum. Inspired by the science of lenticular printing, these fins change colours, depending upon the viewer’s sightline and perspective.

Colourfully representing these three national institutions is a signal that the Ingenium Centre sits as part of a larger museological community, fostering collaboration and synergetic partnerships between parallel, local, and national institutions. Alongside its vast archive, it is home to a Research Institute, a Digital Innovation Lab, Conservation Laboratories, Conference Rooms, and a publicly accessible Resource Centre.  Workshops and workspaces for 175 staff who are actively collecting and conserving historical artifacts for the three museums are also included.

Equipped with museum-quality interior environments and a dynamic urban presence, the architecture of the Ingenium Centre takes advantage of every opportunity to showcase the collection both inside and out. Inside, a public lobby and sculptural staircase offer exhibition space, a vertical gallery that winds up through the building. Public tours will offer accessibility to archive spaces designed to achieve Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Gold Certification.

On the exterior, the south façade features glazed vitrines to accommodate interpretive and digital exhibits to the park, while intimate display cases and views into the train storage hall animate the pedestrian promenade.

We celebrate with the Ingenium Centre as they welcome the public to explore their vast collection as part of a new accessible campus of creativity, discovery, and innovation.  

Learn more about Doors Open Ottawa and Ingenium Centre's guided collection tours here.