Libeskind's Crystal, Toronto

Nancy Barrett

Toronto, Canada

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Artist's Description

Featured in “Architecture and Cityscapes Photography”
April 2009
Featured in “Contemporary Architecture”
May 2009

The dramatic new wing of Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) designed by architect Daniel Libeskind, is dubbed the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal. The 175,000 square foot aluminum and glass clad building houses seven collection galleries on two levels, two special exhibition spaces, new retail and dining facilities and a new main entrance and lobby. Libeskind’s ‘Crystal” is comprised of five interlocking, self-supporting prismatic structures that interface with the historic buildings that embrace it. With hardly a right angle anywhere, its sloping walls create unique interior spaces with soaring volumes and such distinctive details as the “Spirit House”, a void at the heart of the building that is traversed by criss-crossing bridges. Slashing windows fill the rooms with natural light and create uniquely framed views of the cityscapes outside.

The Crystal faces the city’s premier shopping street and, in a contextual gesture that’s unusual for the architect, forges a connection between this thoroughfare and the original, more austere Beaux-Arts museum. “We were looking to create a lot of transparency and engagement with the city,” explains museum director William Thorsell. “Museums are typically built like fortresses, and we wanted a new, more urban presence.”

Nikon D40X with 18-135 mm lens.

Artwork Comments

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desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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