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

adma

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I know; the article's use of the PoMo label is definitely anachronistic. And when it comes to starchitect neighbours, funny there's no reference to Gio Ponti's earlier DAM work...

On the whole, too, the Denver context suffers from the kind of overwrought cultural-campus self-consciousness than New York's Lincoln Centre used to be knocked and knocked again for...
 

TonyV

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Most admirable responses to my post. I loved the red idea. Before anyone gets carried away on me, I'm in love with a lot of Alsop's work (very taken with the new film studio proposal) and am not at all timid in my tastes. And I don't agree with those design fellows currently featured in Toronto Life who called the ROM's addition "aggressively ugly" at all; it isn't aggressively ugly! I just feel something went really wrong with ROM, and I don't particularly like Libeskind's approach to Bloor/Queen's Park.

With me, jury still out on the worth of the new exhibit spaces an galleries. I don't just judge exteriors.

Yes indeed I loved that red idea, MetroMan.
 

MetroMan

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I'll tell Thorsell next time I see him. I doubt he'll concede that the metallic cladding didn't work well, but you never know, he might like the idea and unearth it one day when they plan to do some remodeling.
 

CanadianNational

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Actually, although it's not a direct competition, I think the ROM has more in common with Libeskind's (formerly) planned Victoria and Albert Museum extension in London than with the DAM.



It would be interesting to see what opinions on the ROM crystal would be in Toronto - and amongst architectural afficionadoes - if it were built in another city such as London, New York or Paris, or if the 'Spiral' extension had been built first.
 

Zephyr

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Well it is not London, New York or Paris, just Chicago and Akron

This aggressive, anti-contextual architectural motif Рwhere abutments, overhangs, fa̤adectomies, and intentional spillovers, expose a clash in styles Рis omnipresent of late, either in proposals or in actually completed structures. This is an observation, not a criticism. Ahead are a few other examples to add to CanadianNational's example:

Dutch Architect Rem Koolhaas tried to surround a Mies van der Rohe building – the Commons at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) – in an initial version change to his Student Union, which is now known more officiously as ‘McCormick Tribune Campus Center’. “(A) slap in the face, a very ordinary building that does great damage to the Commons,” wrote Architect Stanley Tigerman. People in charge at IIT, resisted this immediately, and all we have after the firestorm are the remnants, not the artifacts, of Mr. Koolhaas’ aggressive design.


Left/centre photos: IIT Campus Center (IITCC) remnants surrounding Commons with left photo illustrating how close the two structures are at IIT, and centre exposing the overhanging element.
Right photo: IITCC as seen from an aerial view, with 'cracked roof' and 'tube' designs clashing with the rest of the Mies van der Rohe designed campus


“The Commons Building (was) … repaired and its original open interior restored. A roof for the Campus Center loading dock that cantilevered over the Commons like a grasping claw (has been) cut back.”
- Architecture critic, Lynn Becker.



A more apples-to-apples comparison to the Crystal wing at ROM is the overhang of Knight wing at Akron Art Museum, created by the Austrian architectural firm of Coop Himmelb[l]au. The buildings are on a tight lot, which includes an unseen post office building. Still there are no contextual concessions made to the addition's design.


Left photo: Akron Art Museum (AAM) before; Right photo: AAM after Knight wing


© 2007 Akron Art Museum and City of Akron (Ohio, USA)


Then there is the renovation to an American football stadium, Soldier Field in Chicago, by the Architectural firm of Wood & Zapata, since split into two new firms. The exterior walls were preserved on the original stadium, which matches the nearby Field Museum, but the interior seating bowl has been revamped with different materials, color schemes and shapes that rise above to clash with the previously preserved structure. This is still heatedly debated in Chicago, and has led to both awards and protests - dividing critics left and right.


Soldier Field and Field Museum in Original Configuration



Soldier Field after Renovation


Top photo: Courtesy of Chicago Photographic Collection [CPC 29-5771-13], Special Collections Department, University Library, University of Illinois at Chicago
Lower two (2) photos: Courtesy of Galen R. Frysinger
.​
 

spaced

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I hate to dwell on the cutbacks (and I think the Crystal is still effective with the aluminum cladding) but does anyone remember how much the project saved by sacrificing the titanium?
 

AlvinofDiaspar

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Well it appears that the ROM is getting a Libeskind...Piano! From the Globe:

In the key of Libeskind
From the architect behind the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal, a 16-foot-long piano may become a showstopper at the Royal Ontario Museum

ROBERT EVERETT-GREEN

From Tuesday's Globe and Mail

November 13, 2007 at 4:03 AM EST

Goethe's quip that architecture is frozen music is about to be taken to new lengths with a 16-foot grand piano designed by Daniel Libeskind. The architect of the Royal Ontario Museum's new Michael Lee-Chin Crystal is working with a German boutique piano company to create an instrument that the ROM hopes will take its place in the museum's collections.

The piano and the Toronto museum's new front end have much in common. Design renderings posted on Libeskind's website show a long sloping body and a jagged-edged lid, all streaked with crisscrossing silver lines. Anybody who has gazed up at the Crystal from outside would easily spot the similarity.

"It's a wonderful, sculptural Libeskind design," said ROM director William Thorsell, a keen amateur pianist. "I'd be glad to play it myself."

The idea for the piano arose in 2002, when Toronto piano dealer Robert Lowrey arranged a meeting between Libeskind and Nicholas Schimmel, head of Schimmel Pianos, one of the few remaining companies to make pianos mostly by hand. Libeskind had initially wanted to be a concert pianist, Lowery said, and Schimmel has already produced instruments with designs by the likes of German artist Ottmar Alt.
‘It’s a piano to be played, but also to be admired as a piece of architecture,’ piano dealer Robert Lowrey says. Rendering by Studio Daniel Libeskind
Enlarge Image

‘It’s a piano to be played, but also to be admired as a piece of architecture,’ piano dealer Robert Lowrey says. (Rendering by Studio Daniel Libeskind)
The Globe and Mail

Three 16-foot-long (five-metre) specialty models will be made, as well as a small number of seven-foot (two-metre) grands based on the same design.

Libeskind designed only the exterior case; the interior works will be essentially the same as in a normal grand.

"It's a piano to be played, but also to be admired as a piece of architecture," Lowrey said.

Like the Crystal, the Libeskind piano poses stiff engineering challenges. The enormously long lid, for instance, must be light enough to be raised by an ordinary person, and strong enough not to warp or bend. Lowery said Schimmel is experimenting with titanium as a material for the cabinet. The case for Schimmel's playful Alt piano, which looks like a gigantic child's toy, employed steel, glass and fibreglass.

"It's taking longer to make this piano than to build the Crystal," Lowrey said.

Thorsell said he expected the piano to emerge from Schimmel's factory next year. But the head of Schimmel's American office, to whom the German office referred questions, said he had "no idea" when the piano might be completed.

Lowrey said Schimmel hopes that the publicity value of the large instruments will help sales of the limited-edition models, which will probably number fewer than 120. One of the other long models may be displayed near the ground zero site in Manhattan, he said.

"It's my hope that the piano will debut at the ROM's Hyacinth Gloria Chen Crystal Court," Thorsell said, "and it's my dream that we'll be able to keep it permanently. But I don't think we'll be fundraising for it." The ROM is still looking for $42-million to cover the remaining costs of its $271-million building expansion.

Thorsell said his ideal scenario would see a donor stepping up to buy the instrument for the ROM. If no benefactor appears, the director would keep the piano at the museum for at least six months.

The Crystal Court is a large atrium near the back of Libeskind's addition. The piano could be played there, Thorsell said, or wheeled to other parts of the museum where concerts are given.

The ROM has an instrument collection, which includes a recently purchased 18th-century piano. Thorsell said the instruments, which are not currently on view, will eventually move into the north wing of the European floor, once the Austrian collection has been moved into new gallery space.

The ROM is also awaiting delivery of a stairwell chandelier designed by Libeskind, whose moulded steel chairs (made by Toronto furniture manufacturer Nienkamper) already adorn the Spirit House section of the Crystal, on the right side of the foyer. It, too, will refer to the Crystal design, and is being fabricated by Swarovski of Switzerland.

AoD
 

adma

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Now, if a prankster can toss in "Endearing Young Charms" sheet music, we'd have a laugh riot
 

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