Friday, April 28, 2006

Photos: The Michael Lee-Chin Crystal

From the Hyatt - Crop
Note: the image may look a little chunky because it's scaled down in your browser. Click on it to see it at a proper size

When I wrote about the Sharp Centre at OCAD a couple of days ago, I mentioned the Royal Ontario Museum Crystal, the new expansion to the ROM.

Street LevelThe structure's proper name is The Michael Lee-Chin Crystal. The Crystal was designed by Daniel Libeskind to replace the previous ROM expansion, which had been build a few decades ago between the two north wings of the H-shaped ROM building.

Old and NewThe old expansion was function, though a little dull -- a terraced structure set back from Bloor Street with tan walls and dark windows. The Crystal is certainly a major departure -- instead of sloping back from the road, it will stick out over it, looming over pedestrians. No-one's quite sure what to make of it yet -- it's completely different in style from the building it's expanding (a serious Victorian structure, very academic-ivy in flavour). Some people hate it already, though personally I'm hopeful. I think it could work quite well, though I'm a little worried about the final effect the mix of aluminum sheathing and windows is going to have -- I would have preferred all-glass.

DomeUnfortunately, there's been no talk of reviving the planetarium. I wonder what they'll end up doing with it.

The Crystal's supposed to open this fall. I'm looking forward to seeing it finished -- I'll be posting more photos of it as it gets closer to completion.

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