Toronto Royal Ontario Museum | ?m | ?s | Daniel Libeskind



Sorry to be bit of a tease, but there are 4 huge new renderings of the ROM in the Globe today and boy do they look sweet.

Hmm. I don't know about those. They just feed my cladding anxiety. I fear that we're going to see OCAD redux: a great idea marred by a finish that looks better suited to the lawnmower shed at the cottage.

Where is that cladding, anyway? Are we behind schedule?
^ We're not on a schedule. The ROM probably is, but you'd have to ask them for it.
Those renderings did not excite me either, but I think that had more to do with the renderings (which did make the addition and its cladding look like an exploded school portable). We have seen pics of the cladding and it certainly looks better than the renderings indicate (fingers crossed).
^ We're not on a schedule. The ROM probably is, but you'd have to ask them for it.

Are we unseasonably ornery, on such a sunny day?
My ROM source tells me that the grand opening of the Crystal is now slated for Saturday June 2nd 2007, to coincide with the beginning of the first annual Festival of Arts, Culture and Creativity.

So, yes, the opening date gets pushed further and further back.
Are we unseasonably ornery, on such a sunny day?

Nope, just highlighting the errors caused by imprecise language. Unless, of course, you work for one of the ROM's contractors, in which case it would be a proper question, the answer to which you should already have.
From the Post:

ROM addition is 'fascinating mess' still in progress
Michael Lee-Chin Crystal

By Alison Broverman

Shahe Sagharian can't go anywhere without people begging to visit him at work.

He's the project manager and team leader at Halsall, the engineering consulting firm working with the Royal Ontario Museum on Toronto's most-talked-about architectural addition - Daniel Libeskind's highly anticipated Michael Lee-Chin Crystal, which is slated to open by the end of this year.

"All winter long, everyone I know has been asking, 'When can we go in the crystal?' " he says. "So we thought we'd have a little open house for our engineering and architecture colleagues."

This is how some 200 wide-eyed architects and engineers (and a couple of lucky members of the press), bedecked in white hard hats and steel-toed galoshes, came to be swarming the ROM's "fascinating mess" on Friday afternoon, all jumping at the opportunity for an up-close-and-personal tour of the impressive tangle of stell that has been growing on Bloor Street over the past few years.

"There are about 30 of us here from my firm," says one young architect, who has been excitedly snapping photos of everything from the detailed joints of the steel frame to the graffitti left by a Habs-loving construction worker.

The Crystal actually comprises of five steel-framed "crystals", all fitted together to support one another like a complex, three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle.

"It's gravity-defying, or at least architects like to say it is," says Halsall's Chris Welch. "The steel in this structure weights twice as much as that in a typical high-rise office tower."

The final piece of steel completed the frame last July, and workers are now tolling to finish the structure's cladding, or "building envelope," as Welch explains the term. "Some people just say walls and windows."

Even without its cladding, the Crystal is already breathtaking. In spite of the chaos of the construction site, the structure that will eventually house the museum's entrance hall feels majestic and serene, almost hushed. The eye is drawn upward to two small geometric jutting of steel that will become skylights.

Slowly but surely, the fascinating mess is getting tidier.

I was there last night. They're installing the black window frames and the windows themselves and the feel of the crystal is coming together.

It is absolutely breathtaking. This will be known as one of Toronto's defining moments like the construction of the CN Tower and that of City Hall.

I encourage everybody to go down there at night and imagine those windows shining from within. Wow.
"Even without its cladding, the Crystal is already breathtaking."
"It is absolutely breathtaking."
A couple of weeks ago I noticed that they have blocked off the views into the Crystal from inside the 2nd and 3rd floors of the old building.