Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Renaissance ROM

I went to the Royal Ontario Museum tonight to check out the architechtural preview of the Daniel Libeskind-designed Michael Lee-Chin Crystal. This new addition has been controversial from the start, I mean, look.at.it. It's a colossal, abstract, aluminum-and-glass growth protruding from what was once a perfectly-fine Neo-Romanesque structure. I'll admit that I was rather ambivalent about it: I've gone to see visiting exhibitions and have driven/walked by the construction site and not given it very much notice. But with all the recent media coverage surrounding its opening, it's hard not to be excited.

While the juxtaposition between old and new is rather jarring at first, I've since decided that I like it. If nothing else, it's got the city engaged in discussions about culture and architecture and that is always a good thing. Anyway, I played tourist tonight and took pics inside and out:

The view from the NE corner of Bloor and Avenue

Close-up of the exterior from the entrance

The view eastward of Bloor from Level 3 of the Crystal

The original plan was to take a guided tour but the guide was running late and the group was really big, so we skipped the tour and decided to wander around on our own using the top-down approach:

Level 4, where the ROM's Textiles and Costume gallery will be

Level 3, where old meets new

One of the many angled windows

The open, expansive sightlines within the new galleries

The soaring, angled walls - one of these galleries will house the ROM's Dinosaurs

4 comments:

william d. anderson said...

i'm really jealous that you were able to visit the museum. daniel libeskind is one of my top 5 heros. his museum in berlin is imho one of the finest works of architecture ever. now he's playing out similar ideas in other areas...but never to the same level of achievment. in an obvious way, the crystal is quite ugly, but admirable. and upon further inspection...its amazing. i love it. thanks for posting those pics. i'm glad you had a good time.

The Lone Beader said...

Wow. That is FUNKY, esp. the first pic... I'd love to go there, too:)

phoenix said...

Architecture in Toronto has been visited by star power of late with Gehry's renovation of the Art Gallery of Ontario (I'm rather disappointed with the design given how un-Gehry it is) to be completed in 2008; Alsop's very-whimsical "table-top" expansion at the Ontario College of Art and Design; and of course, Libeskind's Crystal. Libeksind also has a condo project on the go at the Hummingbird Centre - the L Tower...not nearly as interesting as the condo he designed opposite the Denver Art Museum, but still pretty cool.

Iheartfashion said...

Great shots of the museum. Now I want to visit.

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