The ROM or The Royal Ontario Museum, an art, world culture and natural history gallery in Canada, inaugurated its newest additions, the Helga and Mike Schmidt Performance Terrace and the Reed Family Plaza. Designed by Siamak Hariri of Hariri Pontarini Architects (HPA), the latest add-ons create a lively space on the street level.
Being one of the largest museums in North America and the biggest in Canada, the ROM, with its Michael Lee-Chin Crystal entrance designed by Daniel Libeskind, always seeks to develop new spaces as well as revive the existing. In fact, this scheme marks the third and final phase of the ROM’s Welcome project that included the reopening of the heritage Weston Family Entrance on Queen’s Park in 2017, also designed by HPA, and free access to the Daphne Cockwell Gallery in 2018.
For me, this project is all about welcome – the realization of the possibilities and rich opportunities of the public realm as it extends not only forward along Bloor Street but also to the west with its connection to Philosopher’s Walk. A space that creates a warm and open connection between the ROM and the city -- Siamak Hariri of Hariri Pontarini Architects (HPA)
The purpose of the new spaces was to create a lively streetscape around the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal entrance and offer a place to sit, relax, and enjoy outdoor performance programming. The ROM’s Director and CEO, Josh Basseches, aspire through this project to further the museum’s “commitment to being a place for all.”
Regarding the materials and the design, “the soft Algonquin limestone of the terrace and the gently curved edges of the benches surrounding planting beds lush with trees and biodiverse gardens provide public gathering and seating space in the heart of the city.” Whereas, the terrace, “elevated off of Bloor Street and nestled beneath the west side of the Crystal, provides a sheltered area for outdoor performances and connects to the greenery of Philosopher’s Walk.”
Location: Toronto, ON
Size: 13,600 sq.ft.
Project Completion: 2019
Lead Design Architect: Siamak Hariri, Partner-In-Charge
Project Architect: Patrick Cox
Job Captain: Miren Etxezarreta-Aranburu
Structural Consultants: Thornton Tomasetti
Mechanical Consultants: WSP Canada Inc.
Electrical Consultants: WSP
Planting Plan: Holbrook + Associates
Tree Selection: The Planning Partnership
Code Consultants: LRI Engineering
Signage and Wayfinding: Entro
Construction Management: Gillam Group
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