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Old July 21st, 2005, 10:49 PM   #41
Skybean
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There's no historical landmark being ruined. The ugly concrete slab garden display was demolished to create the new addition.

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CITYSPACE: ROYAL ONTARIO MUSEUM

Raw metal is a major turn-on


Dark, rough to the touch, heavy enough to crush a man, steel is rarely left exposed. It's easy to figure out why, writes LISA ROCHON. It might upset our urbane sensibilities. How sweet it is then to be confronted with a real, heaving body

By LISA ROCHON

Thursday, July 21, 2005 Page R1

The most compelling work of architecture in this country right now is actually a construction site. Fronting the redevelopment of the Royal Ontario Museum in downtown Toronto is a massive steel structure that is raw and mysterious and dirty. Drywall and stucco cladding have neutralized North America. Exposed steel is a major turn-on. How sweet it is to be confronted with a real, heaving body. And how very contrary. Our buildings are most often placed under hygienic wraps, the naughty bits furtively imbedded within concrete or covered under cladding -- an act of sanitation that recalls the catchy refrain handed down by the Puritans, "I was conceived in Sin & Born in iniquity," doled out like gruel in the New England Primer in 1646. Thank you for that. I'll have another serving of steel.

The recipe for steel isn't pretty: about one part rusted cars to two parts coal and iron ore. There is nothing more macho than steel, nothing more frightening than people walking along beams 100 feet above the ground. And we're uncomfortable with the harsh terms ascribed to the workers -- there's the "raising gang," a team headed by a foreman and four erectors who wrestle steel beams hanging from cranes into submission, and the "bolting detail crew," whom we'd like to think of as team players equipped with laptops and BlackBerries rather than men wielding steel sledgehammers.

Dark, rough to the touch, heavy enough to crush a man, steel is rarely left exposed. It's easy to figure out why: It might upset our urbane sensibilities.

Some of the steel at the ROM comes from Brazil, but most of it comes from the United States in factories that are dirty and hot.


Walters Inc., the Hamilton-based steel erectors who have taken a stick drawing from architects and engineers and translated it into a three-dimensional structure with step-by-step instructions for assembly, may have worked on Regeneration Hall at the Canadian War Museum and the Ontario College of Art & Design, but they also build large industrial complexes, including scrubbers for American coal-generated power stations.

Most often, steel is mixed up in a class thing: Exposed steel is the building material of choice for blue-collar labourers, best hidden from city professionals. As for the ironworkers responsible for erecting the ROM's Michael Lee-Chin Crystal, they earn about $30 an hour. They commuted to the job from places as far away as Niagara Falls. Five of the 30-member team are Mohawks. None of them can afford to live in Toronto.

While the workers are tough men with big forearms, they are given to moments of poetry. "Steel is extremely honest," says Brian Penny, site superintendent of Walters. "To me it has far more appeal than drywall. Drywall you can see anywhere." During the year that it took to raise up the structure, the workers started to feel the steel come alive. One enormous face in the shape of an X wears bolts like jewellery on a giant. They named some of the most extraordinary faces -- the Owl's Head and the Pinnacle -- with steel arranged at crazy angles from the ground.

For Daniel Libeskind, the design architect of the $211-million Renaissance ROM expansion project in joint venture with Bregman + Hamann Architects, exposed steel presents certain dangers. For one thing, in its mass, weight and rigidity, steel belongs to the physical world. Libeskind's interest is in abstract space. To him, the structural steel is not the body, it's a skeleton. Bury the thing. It's already served a purpose.

So, in the final ROM scheme, none of the steel will be left exposed. All of it will be disguised behind massive amounts of drywall or an anodized aluminum roof. There's too much to distract an audience looking upon an integrated truss system whereby 3,000 pieces of steel (each weighing about three tons) have been miraculously joined together. An enormous bird's beak in steel skims the 19th-century Darling & Pearson original west wing of the ROM, urging us to look upon the Royal Conservatory of Music or travel down Philosopher's Walk through the University of Toronto. Not one piece stands in a perfect vertical line. Chaos and disorder have been bolted together. If this was Russia 100 years ago, the structure might help to trigger a revolution.

Libeskind's dedication is in wowing us with multifaceted towers and catwalks that distort the scale of a building and make us feel overwhelmed by huge, disorienting spaces. The Holocaust Tower -- a dark, unheated, tomb-like space -- at Libeskind's Jewish Museum in Berlin has the power to make you feel emotionally crippled. For Toronto, backed by the intelligent engineering of Halsall Associates, Libeskind is delivering the Spirit House, a towering, gyrating central void that begins within a basement exhibition space and rises up several storeys from the main entrance court. Libeskind wants to control the way that we think, and, ultimately, how we behave. Thoughts -- whether they be exhilarating or sanitized -- are easier to contain within drywall.

A restrictive fire code is often to blame for the architect's penchant for covering up steel. The truth is that a steel structure painted in tumescent paint meets the code. What's more, the strategy of wrap and hide -- the dishonesty of contemporary architecture -- is a concept that has grown tiresome for certain architects operating around the world. The visionary architect Renzo Piano, with Fox & Fowle Architects, is designing a 52-storey tower as an exposed steel structure for The New York Times headquarters. The structural frame will be celebrated for its muscle and lightness; a steel storefront will be a feature on the ground floor.

At the ROM, the last structural steel beam went in last week at the museum's topping-off ceremony. The iron workers have gone home. Cherish this moment at the ROM. Visit it like public art. The honesty of the steel is excruciating. It won't be long before the concrete is poured on all of the floors, the steel is sprayed with fire-proofing and the drywall is banged into place. The roof of anodized aluminum functions mostly as skin. The real roof that does the hard work of managing Toronto's weather is buried underneath, tucked away from public view. That's another manoeuvre meant to save us from the reality of the Canadian winter.

Walter Koppelaar, president of Walters Inc., is carrying on a steel-contracting business that his father started in the 1950s as a Dutch immigrant to Canada. His first jobs were doing fire escapes and ornamental ironwork.

Knowing that the steel will be covered up over the next year, Koppelaar says, with regret in his voice, that the museum structure has something in common with his father's first works in steel: "Both are ornamental."
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Old July 21st, 2005, 11:07 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rise_against
It towers like that, that will be used in the future to define Architecture from the early century...i love it!!!
Well, that's just a visionary drawing by 3Dementia on the UrbanToronto forums, there is a 40 storey in the works but I'm sure it will create a lot of outrage from the community .


Quote:
Thanks for ruining a historic landmark. Can Toronto keep one historic building intact or should we just become NYC?
Well, nothing was demolished so no historical landmark was demolished. And excuse me, but the historical ROM building always looked a bit bland to me. The new crystal expansion is just the thing needed to brighten up the ROM building and it doesn't take anything away.
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Old August 1st, 2005, 11:27 PM   #43
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Old August 2nd, 2005, 01:10 AM   #44
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It's like the museum freezed over with that "crystal' addition. Will it look so good 50 yrs from now?
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Old August 3rd, 2005, 03:13 AM   #45
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the tower design is shit hot
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Old August 28th, 2005, 11:50 PM   #46
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Aug 13, 2005
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Old December 13th, 2005, 06:38 AM   #47
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Daniel Libeskind has 3 active projects in Toronto. http://www.daniel-libeskind.com/projects/index.html
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Old December 13th, 2005, 09:54 AM   #48
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Does anybody know if this anodized aluminum is corrugated?



Please say no.
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Old December 13th, 2005, 10:15 AM   #49
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Your talking in a completely different language dude.
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Old December 14th, 2005, 08:16 AM   #50
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ROM condo-tower plan scrapped
8 November 2005
The Globe and Mail

The plan to build a 46-storey condominium tower in the heart of the city's cultural district is history — leaving a $20-million gap in the Royal Ontario Museum's rebuilding plan.

Citing “deep and broad” opposition from neighbouring residents and institutions, museum director and CEO William Thorsell announced yesterday that the project has been pulled from the approval process.

“We don't have the support we need, so it's just the logical thing to do,” he said in an interview. He was reiterating what he said at Tuesday's fiery public consultation meeting where more than 200 people, including representatives of the faculties of law and music at the University of Toronto, opposed the project.

“I knew there would be controversy but I didn't think it would be this degree of opposition,” Mr. Thorsell said. “It's too deep and broad to keep this project alive.”

The layered-glass luxury tower was to rise within the footprint of U of T and Queen's Park in an area that has been predominantly institutional, rather than residential.

The ROM had applied to have the property of the defunct McLaughlin Planetarium rezoned.

The project, proposed as a co-development with Toronto-based Graywood Developments Ltd. and dubbed ROM South, would have given the provincially owned museum 35,000 square feet of storage and office space, and funnelled $20-million into the $230-million Renaissance ROM project that Mr. Thorsell has spearheaded.

But no tower means no money.

“We'll have to go back and get out there, beat the bushes even harder to raise it in the community,” Mr. Thorsell said.

When Councillor Olivia Chow, whose Trinity-Spadina ward includes the ROM, heard the announcement, she whooped with joy. “I'm thankful that ROM heard the community and understood the opposition,” she said.

“I hope that they would find the funding from the public and private sector to finish phase two,” Ms. Chow said, noting that at the public meeting local residents promised to help with fundraising.

The ROM's has raised $176-million, including $30-million from Michael Lee-Chin, CEO of AIC Ltd., $20-million from Galen and Hilary Weston and $60-million from the federal and provincial governments. The first phase, featuring new galleries and the restoration of the Rotunda and Samuel Hall Currelly Gallery, is scheduled to open Dec. 26. The Michael Lee-Chin Crystal, designed by Daniel Libeskind, is still set to open next fall.

Mr. Thorsell said donor fatigue has struck the city, with several major cultural projects, including the ROM and Art Gallery of Ontario renovations, under way.

One thing the ROM's management does know is that any new proposal won't be much like the one withdrawn yesterday.

“Right now, we have nothing in mind,” Mr. Thorsell said. “But if there's any height, it won't be very high at all.”
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Old December 15th, 2005, 03:55 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayeTheOnly
Your talking in a completely different language dude.
Read the little thing above the webcam in Skybean's post ("Cladding the Micheal Lee-Chin Crystal). It mentions the type of cladding being used which is anodized aluminium.

I am inquiring as to whether it is flat or corrugated.
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Old December 15th, 2005, 04:12 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B.Tinoff
Read the little thing above the webcam in Skybean's post ("Cladding the Micheal Lee-Chin Crystal). It mentions the type of cladding being used which is anodized aluminium.

I am inquiring as to whether it is flat or corrugated.
Nah, it seems to be smooth, (just search it in google pics), it seems also that pots and pans are made of this:S dunno if that's good or not...
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Old December 16th, 2005, 07:52 PM   #53
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Light, space open up ROM's 'dark fortress': Sneak peek at galleries
Peter Brieger
National Post
16 December 2005

The Royal Ontario Museum's $230-million facelift is not just about the restoration of an old building, but rather a step in building Toronto's international stature, the museum's director said yesterday.

"This really goes beyond institution building," William Thorsell told media assembled for a sneak preview of 10 new galleries that will open to the public on Boxing Day. "It is about city building."

And by this time next year, the new museum's centrepiece -- the Crystal -- will be near completion. The jagged glass and aluminum building juts out of the ROM's existing structure, built between 1914 and 1933.

"I can't see anybody coming to Toronto and not wanting to go into [the Crystal]," Mr. Thorsell said during an interview. "They may be here for their sister's funeral, but on the way back to the airport they're going to want to drop in to take a look at it."

Even the dank original structure features more lighting and a roomier feel, including a new rotunda with funky leather couches outfitted in orange, blue and metallic grey.

Describing the old space as an "absurd building with all kinds of junk," architect Daniel Libeskind told reporters the new galleries will "bring back the glory" of the ROM, making a "dark fortress open again to light."

Designers were also careful to ensure the building and its contents get equal billing, said Alisdair Hinshelwood, senior designer at U.K.-based museum consultant Haley Sharpe Design.

"One of our jobs is to create encounters between objects and people," Mr. Hinshelwood said. "We tried to avoid touching the building [with pieces] so you can always follow the architecture."

Visitors later this month will also be able to see exhibits including: Korea, Bronze Age Aegean, Ancient Cyprus and a Chinese gallery, which includes the only exhibition dedicated to Chinese architecture outside the world's most populous nation.

About 1,000 pieces are on display at the new Canada gallery dedicated to first peoples, from the Nisga'a and Inuit to Mohawk and Haida. Many of the artifacts were in storage but never displayed before, Mr. Thorsell said.

In all, the new museum will have almost double the number of artifacts and 43 galleries by project completion -- expected in 2007.

"The ROM was already there," Mr. Thorsell said. "It's not like we went out and bought a lot of new things, but we brought them forward into the space."

Meanwhile, the ROM's director said he hopes to hammer out an agreement to build another revenue-generating development after a contentious condominium project -- slated to contribute $20-million to the restoration -- was shelved in the face of opposition from neighbours.

"The worst-case scenario is that we can't develop the site at all, but I think we'll likely be able to do something there," Mr. Thorsell said.
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Old December 23rd, 2005, 04:09 PM   #54
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December 15, 2005
Preparation for Cladding

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Old December 23rd, 2005, 05:31 PM   #55
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good update, can't wait until the glass starts going up
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Old January 5th, 2006, 09:15 PM   #56
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Cladding (or insulation?) is going up.

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Old January 5th, 2006, 09:57 PM   #57
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Perhaps it's both
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Old January 6th, 2006, 02:37 AM   #58
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I have to wait for tomorrow to see it. Its dark and I cant see it now!
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Old January 8th, 2006, 09:34 PM   #59
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Now I see it, looks awesome
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Old January 9th, 2006, 02:36 AM   #60
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Cant wait to see the finished project
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