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2005 04 03
Five Things I Love About the Royal Ontario Museum - 4
imageI Love the Crystal
It’s a fact that Daniel Libeskind “crystal” will add 40,000 square feet of gallery space to the ROM and, it’s a fact, it’s difficult to be equivocal about what you think of the architecture. For instance, I’ve been asked a few times, do you think it really fits with the stolid, stone-clad buildings of 1914 and 1933?

I like to think the historic, rectilinear buildings as a symbol for the intellectual arts of man aspect of the ROM’s mandate. The crystal addition represents the nature component; wild but with the unassailable logic that everything natural has. Nearly 90 years after it was established, the ROM’s building will soon evolve to symbolize both art and nature and their intense dialectic.

The Libeskind ROM is half of the argument that the MOMA in New York began. Is a museum a better place for artifacts if it is, as the MOMA’s architect said he would create if he had enough money, and he did, a building that disappears? Or is the container for of nature and art one that demonstrates these artifacts deserve a building that is most definitely present?

Now, in the spring of 2005, the building is all jutting steel and illusory spaces. But the architecture is beginning to form. What was fantastical as a model is materializing as a temporal personality; an Eiffel Tower of compelling intensity that some may never like but that they will, like the symbol of Paris, come to love.
[email this story] Posted by Kelvin Browne / Royal Ontario Museum on 04/03 at 12:02 PM

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