Monday, June 23, 2008

Im Back like cooked crack!

I know, I know, I ve been gone for a minute. I got some new art to post but 4got to dl my pix last nite so I'll post those 2morrow. In the mean time check this out..

Daniel Libeskind is one of the most talked about architects in our days. He has designed many prominent buildings around the world, the most famous of which currently is probably one not yet built: The master plan of the new WTC to replace the WTC buildings destroyed on 9/11. But one of his most recent buildings is the extension to the Royal Ontario Museum.

The Royal Ontario Museum project set out to renovate ten new galleries in the existing historical building and creating an extension to the museum, now called the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal. This new extension provides innovative new architecture and the creation of a grand public attraction with 100,000 sq. ft. of new exhibition space. Situated at one of the most prominent intersections in down town Toronto, the Museum has become a dynamic centre for the city.

So, in addition to carrying out the renovations to the existing buildings, Studio Daniel Libeskind, in a joint venture with B+H Architects, has created a new wing for the Museum, the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal. Approximately half of this building is devoted to gallery space, while the ground floor features a spacious new entrance and lobby as well as a new retail shop accessible directly from the street. Also included are three new restaurants, the most spectacular of which is located on the Crystal’s fifth floor, which cantilevers over the existing West Wing galleries and provides panoramic views of down town.

The Michael Lee-Chin Crystal derives its name from the building’s five intersecting volumes, which are reminiscent of crystals. The intersection of two of the crystals, each of which is dedicated to new galleries, creates a void, known as the Spirit House. Essentially a large atrium rising from below ground level to the fourth floor, and containing a number of criss-crossing bridges at various levels, the Spirit House is intended to be a place for visitors to reflect upon the exhibitions they have experienced in one of the gallery spaces before moving on to the next. A fourth crystal, known as the Stair of Wonders, is dedicated to vertical circulation but also features exhibition displays at the landings. A fifth crystal houses the major new restaurant.
The Lee-Chin Crystal building envelope consists of two layers, a water-shedding skin covered by champagne coloured anodized aluminium extrusions that shimmer in the sunlight, and in the night-time pick up the glow of the city. Approximately 20 percent of the fa├žade is pierced by stunning windows that provide views out of the building, but also into the building and the galleries, thereby furthering the link between the Museum and passers-by.

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