Art Gallery of Ontario--page 1 (of 3 pages)

Frank Gehry
2008



"Called 'Transformation AGO,' this project was funded in large part by a donation from Ken Thomson" (Jodidio 142). The addition, which increased the gallery space by 47%, includes a "183-meter-long glass-and-wood facade along Dundas Street West from McCaul Street to Beverley Street" as well as an extensive sculpture gallery, cafe and restaurant, bookshop and lecture hall. This new facade (about 600 feet if you don't like metric) rises 70 feet above street level. Although the addition was initially controversial, it has been generally greeted with the highest praise--"a restrained masterpiece," "casually though profoundly brilliant," "a thrilling series of spaces," "the easiest, most effortless and relaxed architectural masterpiece this city has seen," and they go on! (various local newspaper articles). See additional views of the Moore sculpture here--photographed more than twenty years ago before this large extension was added.

Dundas Street West facade

The length of the addition extends along Dundas street facing a row of Victorian houses. The roof evokes a ship's hull while the glass billows in a sensuous curve.
 
 

The new main entrance at the end of the ramp

The new entrance is aligned with the Walker Court, the historic heart of the museum. (See the next page for interior views.)
 

The Dundas West Street facade

A sculpture gallery extends along the length of the facade and suspended above the street on the second floor, it allows visitors to see out into the public areas.
 

View from Grange Park at the rear of the building

The four-story tower at the rear of the building contains additional gallery space. It is clad in titanium and glass.



Continue to page 2.


Works Consulted or quoted:
Philip Jodidio. Architecture Now! Museums. Cologne: Taschen, 2010.
Margaret Goodfellow and Phil Goodfellow. A Guidebook to Contemporary Architecture in Toronto. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 2010.


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© 2010 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. (I would appreciate being told if you find them useful.) They are not available for commercial purposes without my explicit permission.