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 downtown Toronto, the Museum has become a dynamic center for the city. SDL is working on this project with Vanbots Construction. The Extension opened in June 2007.
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 vitrines at the landings. A fifth crystal houses the major new restaurant.
"The program of the Royal Ontario Museum provides a wonderful opportunity for dramatic new architecture and the creation of a great public attraction. The centrality of the site intensifies the profound relationship between history and the new, between tradition and innovation. The historical buildings, complemented by forward-looking and bold architecture, form an ensemble which regenerates the urban significance of the Museum, solves the complex functional issues, and dramatically improves exhibitions, facilities, programming and amenities. The Crystal is an interlocking form which turns this important corner of Toronto into a luminous beacon--a veritable showcase of people, events and objects, transforming the entire museum complex into a world-class destination.
(source: http://www.daniel-libeskind.com/projects/show-all/royal-ontario-museum/ , accessed 1214h, 10 March 09)