Virtual Fellow Talk with David Murray and Guests: Queen Elizabeth II Planetarium | Royal Architectural Institute of Canada

Virtual Fellow Talk with David Murray and Guests: Queen Elizabeth II Planetarium

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The RAIC Edmonton Network invites you to at attend a Fellow Talk with David Murray, FRAIC and Guests on the topic of the Queen Elizabeth II Planetarium.



Virtual Fellow Talk with David Murray and Guests: Queen Elizabeth II Planetarium 
Date: February 25, 2021
Presented by: David Murray, FRAIC


The RAIC Edmonton Network invites you to attend a Fellow Talk with David Murray, FRAIC. This event is open to everyone.  

The Queen Elizabeth II Planetarium was conceived in a time of political uncertainty as the Cold War raged. Yet, it was also a time of great optimism for the future. Edmonton opened Canada’s first planetarium in 1960, named for Queen Elizabeth II, in Coronation Park, which she dedicated in 1959 during an official visit to Canada. It is unique in the history of modern architecture in Canada, the first of its kind and an original design eminently suited to its function. It served the original purpose of providing entertaining and educational astronomical and night sky presentations for 24 years, until it was replaced with a larger nearby planetarium in 1984.

The building was out of public use for 30 years and consequently fell into disrepair. In 2017, the City of Edmonton designated the QEII Planetarium as a Municipal Historic Resource under the Alberta Historic Resources Act, meaning that it is accorded a high level of protection in the province. After several years of conservation, it will reopen in 2021 as a public resource. The upgraded junior planetarium will once again introduce a young audience to the wonders of space in conjunction with its nearby neighbor, the TELUS World of Science Edmonton.

The presentation of the QEII Planetarium project will focus on the assessment of the historical development and significance, the legislative protection of the building, the application of the Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada (S&G), the adaptive re-use of a modern-era building of great significance, the identification of the character-defining elements, the construction phase restoration of the building, and the insertion of new programming elements into the historic envelope.

We will be joined by the first director of the Planetarium, one of the engineering consultants, and one of the major trades in the restoration. There will be an opportunity for questions and to assess the success of the project.   

At the conclusion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Recognize and list the features which mark the Planetarium as a unique and early example of the Modern Expressionist Style in Canada.
  • Explain how the restored finishes should resist the toll taken by Edmonton’s northern climate.
  • Evaluate the extent to which the building achieves the goal of universal accessibility.
  • Identify exterior envelope improvements undertaken to achieve a higher level of sustainability.
  • Describe how the 12 symbols of the Zodiac in stone mosaic tiles, designed and installed by artist Heinrick Eichner and his wife Edith in the mid-1960s, affect the Planetarium’s front plaza.


David received his B. Arch degree from the University of Toronto in 1969 and has practiced in Edmonton, Alberta since that time. He is a Life Member of the Alberta Association of Architects and a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. He established his own office in 1984 and his career has evolved to focus primarily on conservation architecture primarily in Alberta and the Northwest Territories. He teaches professional practice at Athabasca University, was a founding member of Edmonton’s Innovative Practice Group in Architecture and is the Chair of the Registration Committee at the Alberta Association of Architects.   

Registration closes on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at 4:00 p.m.


This session is free for Regular RAIC Members. Please make sure you are signed into your membership account before registration to be registered for free!

The cost for Interns and Retired RAIC Members is $5.00, plus applicable taxes.

The cost for non-members is $15.00, plus applicable taxes.


Start time4:30 p.m.5:30 p.m.6:30 p.m.7:30 p.m.8:30 p.m.9:00 p.m.
End Time6:00 p.m.7:00 p.m.8:00 p.m.9:00 p.m.10:00 p.m.10:30 p.m.


More information, including online access instructions will be sent to you by email on the evening prior to the webinar. 

February 25, 2021 7:30 PM through  9:00 PM
Event Fee(s)
Practice Resource Webinar Fee - 15 Dollar
Event Fees (GST) $ 15.00 + $ 0.75 Sales Tax
Event Fees (HST) $ 15.00 + $ 2.25 Sales Tax
Event Fee (ON) $ 15.00 + $ 1.95 Sales Tax
Event Fee (QC) $ 15.00 + $ 2.25 Sales Tax
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