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Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art,, Toronto, Canada

Monday 09 Jun 2008

Smashing win

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The Gardiner Museum wins at RIBA 

The Gradiner Museum, one of the world's pre-eminent institutions devoted to ceramic art has been declared one of the winners of the prestigious RIBA international award.The renewal project, together with the Royal Ontario Museum across the street and the Royal Conservatory of Music around the corner on Bloor Street West, will form a new cultural precinct for the city.

The renewal builds on top of the original structure, designed by Keith Wagland in 1984. The third floor expansion and extension of the original footprint to the street creates a bolder image for the Gardiner, while respecting the intimate scale for which the original building was admired. The former pink granite exterior was replaced with polished buff limestone, setting the Gardiner in dialogue with the historic facades and pediments of the adjacent neo-classical Lillian Massey and Queen-Anne style Margaret Addison buildings. The front of the museum was completely re-landscaped with a series of terraced platforms that bring the Gardiner to the street, and create a series of inviting outdoor spaces for casual and formal gathering.

The strategic addition of approximately 14,000 sq ft allows the museum to host international exhibitions of contemporary works, and to showcase the expanding permanent collection. The adaptive reuse of the underground parking garage, excavated by one metre, creates much needed space in which to accommodate educational studios and curatorial spaces to support the Gardiner’s evolving popular community outreach programs and research activities. The design also greatly enhances the museum’s revenue-generating potential with a new retail shop, rentable multi-purpose event space, and a destination restaurant.

The existing plan was completely reconfigured to define a journey through the galleries that unfolds in ascending order, from the ground to the new third floor. Windows and terraces are positioned to offer visitors previously unimagined vistas of Queen’s Park, the University of Toronto, and the downtown skyline

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Key Facts

Status complete
Value 0(m€)
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Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects

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