Size: 46,276 s.f. (renovation 31,958; new 14,318)
“Architecture provides the physical environment in which an institution can succeed and flourish. With the Gardiner, we re-imagined something that was already very good and took it to a new level of growth and excellence. We gave this great small museum an intimate monumentality.” – Bruce Kuwabara
The Gardiner Museum is one of the world's preeminent institutions devoted to ceramic art, and the only museum of its kind in Canada. It is also designated as one of Toronto’s cultural renaissance projects. The renewal project, together with the Royal Ontario Museum across the street and the Royal Conservatory around the corner on Bloor Street West, will form a new cultural precinct for the city.
The renewal builds on top of the original structure, designed by Keith Wagland in 1984. The third floor expansion and extension of the original footprint to the street creates a bolder image for the Gardiner, while respecting the intimate scale for which the original building was admired. The former pink granite exterior was replaced with polished buff limestone, setting the Gardiner in dialogue with the historic facades and pediments of the adjacent neo-classical Lillian Massey and Queen-Anne style Margaret Addison buildings. The front of the museum was completely re-landscaped with a series of terraced platforms that bring the Gardiner to the street, and create a series of inviting outdoor spaces for casual and formal gathering.
The strategic addition of approximately 14,000 s.f. allows the museum to host international exhibits of contemporary works, and to showcase the expanding permanent collection. The adaptive reuse of the underground parking garage, excavated by one metre, creates much-needed space in which to accommodate educational studios and curatorial spaces to support the Gardiner’s evolving popular community outreach programs and research activities. The design also greatly enhances the museum’s revenue-generating potential with a new retail shop that faces Queen’s Park, rentable multi-purpose event space, and a destination restaurant managed by Jamie Kennedy.
The existing plan was completely reconfigured to define a journey through the galleries that unfolds in ascending order, from the ground to the new third floor. Windows and terraces are positioned to offer visitors previously unimagined vistas of Queen’s Park, the University of Toronto, and the downtown skyline.
111 Queen’s Park, Toronto
46,276 s.f. total (31,958 s.f. renovation, 14,318 s.f. new construction) renovation and expansion of 1983-84 museum designed by Keith Wagland
Bruce Kuwabara (design partner), Shirley Blumberg (partner-in-charge), Paulo Rocha (design/project architect), John Allen, Kevin Bridgman, Steven Casey, Bill Colaco, Ramon Janer, Tom Knezic, Shane O’Neill, Thom Seto, Tyler Sharpe, Javier Uribe
PS Design in association with Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects. Exhibition design by PS Design: Debi Perna and Eric Siegrist; Casework design by KPMB: Shirley Blumberg (partner in charge), Paulo Rocha (design/project architect), Thom Seto. Casework executed by MCM 2001.
Halsall Associates Ltd. (structural), Crossey Engineering Ltd. (mechanical, electrical), Leber/Rubes Inc. (fire and life safety), Vermeulens Cost Consultants (cost), Soberman Engineering (elevator), Suzanne Powadiuk (lighting), NAK Design Group (landscape), Marrack + Associates (food services)
Gardiner Museum wins RIBA International Award
June 13, 2008
KPMB wins two Business Week/Architectural Record Awards
August 08, 2007
We agree: Gardiner is belle of the ball
June 07, 2007
"A Banner Year for Building: Ten Projects that changed Toronto in 2006"
December 30, 2006
"Best New Buildings of 2006"
December 20, 2006
Gardiner Museum Opens
June 23, 2006
- 2008 RIBA International Awards
- 2008 Chicago Athenaeum International Architecture Award
- 2007 Ontario Association of Architects Award of Excellence
- 2007 Pug Awards, Best in Show
- 2007 Business Week/Architectural Record Award
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