ART GALLERY OF ONTARIO
Stage III provides the AGO with its last opportunity to achieve a physical expression of the artistic goals it has pursued for decades.
The additions should accomplish two seemingly opposite things - reveal the past and its achievements, and transform the building into a gallery that is more accessible to art lovers and the public, symbolizing in its openness the very culture that it records.
While many design considerations must be resolved through intensive collaboration between curators and architects, the overall goals of the renovation are immediate and clear. They are:
1. To make the gallery more open to the public.
We have incorporated three design devices to achieve this:
a. Making the main entrance more inviting and memorable. Two stone pilons replay the display base motive, and the glass porte-cochere sweeps the view inside towards the two-storey stair hall, making the collection visible.
b. Announcing the AGO's activities along Dundas and Beverley Streets. A series of display boxes will attract passersby, offering a preview of the exhibits, objects and programs inside.
c. Creating public pedestrian walkways through the Gallery, from Dundas to the Grange Park. These walkways will not only increase the number of people entering the AGO, but will make its activities much more accessible to the public at large with shops, restaurants, activity centres, etc. and ultimately making the entire collection much more visible and enticing the public.
2. To create a strong sense of orientation within the gallery.
The visitor is immediately drawn from the entrance into the skylit stair hall. This opens the view through the Walker Court and beyond to the Sculpture Court and Grange. And because it is also surrounded by the second level exhibition balconies, it invites their exploration as well. So from the very beginning, visitors clearly understand the Gallery as a whole.
What's more, the design also reorients visitors at crucial points during their walk through the collection - with view windows onto Walker Court or other collections, encouraging further exploration.
The individual galleries have been arranged in a continuous enfilade around the central Walker Court on both levels. This will eliminate the current unsatisfactory connection for the Zacks and Moore galleries, making them part of the main walkway.
3. To weave the building into the urban fabric.
We have used three major design elements to strengthen the relationship between the gallery and its surroundings.
a. Display boxes have been set at the property line, mitigating between the mass of the gallery and the scale of the surrounding street and neighbourhood.
b. The gallery has gone through three distinct historic stages which we believe should not only be revealed, but unified, with a glass wall along Dundas Street connecting the two corner pavilions of the 1975-77 additions.
c. The gallery has been integrated into the city's pedestrian network through the use of public passages.
4. To unite the gallery's disparate parts and create a stronger image.
Today, the Grange, the 1981-25 art museum and the 1975-77 additions all contrast with each other and have no interior relation. The Stage 11 additions will do away with this disparity and weld the various phases into a single coherent unity.
That unity also brings fascination and openness to the gallery - with the constant activity along the street edges, the window-like display bays, the glass walls along Dundas Street, the green granite and the crystal-like porte-cochere - all beckoning the public to come inside and enjoy themselves.
5. To segregate the different levels of security, permitting easy orientation and avoiding interference.
Our design not only makes the Gallery more open, but more efficient and secure as well. This is achieved through five different levels of security: the public zone, the gallery zone, the A/V, library print zone, the staff zone and the vault zone. Each is clearly segregated to avoid interference. However, each is easily accessible and controllable, creating its own sense of orientation.
In sum, the design will create a building infinitely more accessible to the public, the new layout will create galleries more interesting to explore yet more clearly ordered, and the building itself will be woven more completely into its environment, with its separate parts coming together at last to create a memorable image.
OUTLINE SPECIFICATION OF MATERIALS
1. Granite pavers with brick paver surround.
2. Semi-mature trees in Sculpture Court and Lower Lobby.
1. Cast-in-place concrete beams, columns and slabs?
2. Structural steel for sculpture Court roof and walls.
1. All new facades to have tinted double glazing in aluminum frames with fluopolymer metallic coating and spandrel panel to be insulated units with a ceramic fit.
2. North Facade: Factory-sealed double glazed curtain wall system and structural glazed "sculpture bays" with green granite at comers. Main towers to be stone to match Walker Court, and precast concrete.
3. South Addition: West Facade, North Part: Precast concrete to match existing building and glazed curtain wall system.
4. West Facade; South Part and South Facade: masonry to match the Grange with concrete block back up. Glazing curtain wall system.
1. Glass entrance doors with stainless steel patch fittings, hinges and pulls.
1. Double glazed sealed units with green tinted tempered heat absorbing glass outer pane and laminated inner pane complete with ultra-violet filter.
1. Walls to be gypsum board, painted.
2. Ceilings to be gypsum board and opaque glass with ultra-violet filters?
3. Floors to be oak strip flooring and special areas to be granite.
2- Public Areas; Lobbies & Corridors:
1. Exposed exterior Walker Court walls to be restored to original stone, where possible.
2. New and renovated walls to be glazed for storefronts, granite facing for structural wall, and gypsum board, painted, elsewhere.
3. Ceilings to be gyp um board?
4. Floors to be granite.
3- Administrative Areas:
1. Walls to be gypsum board, painted.
2. Ceilings to be lay in acoustic tile except in boardroom (gypsum board).
3. Floors to receive carpet.
4. Blases to be oak.
1. Glass doors and walls tinted in metallic frames.
2. Granite floor in cab
1. Ceramic tile floors and walls.
2. Gypsum board painted ceiling.
COST STATEMENT AND AREA BREAKDOWN
Our design concept consists of a basic concept which meets the Program Requirements and, can be completed within the cost guidelines as outlined in Section 4.5 of the Stage 3 Design Competition Guidelines.
We also include in our drawings additional work which is not in any way fundamental to our design, nor required by the Program, but work which we feel would greatly enhance the quality of the Art Gallery.
The area breakdown includes a column indicating areas required to meet the Program as well as a column identifying optional areas. The attached diagrams and area breakdowns identify all optional areas.
The third stage, in all likelihood, presents the last chance for the .4.rt Gallery to alter its physical image to achieve that of a world class institution, not only in its collections, but also in its physical presence.
Our design creates a masterplan in which this can be achieved. We have suggested more interventions than may be necessary to purely achieve the functional space required, however, since Stage 3 could be built in two phases, phase 1 could include only those additions that are requested by the programme.
We have included a full quantity survey in a separate envelope.
(From competitor's text)
Competition Critique by Stephen V. Irwin
Zeidler Roberts Partnership
This scheme is organized on a strong looped gallery circulation scheme and the idea of north/south pedestrian walkways, at several levels cutting through the building connecting Dundas Street to Grange Park. These routes allow pedestrians to visually look into the Gallery without crossing the security line. The real issue is if these routes are true 'desire' lines and if they would be sufficiently used.
The exterior facades of the building on Dundas and Beverley Streets are transparent with large areas of glass and a series of granite-based display cases. It was strongly questioned if these cases would be used as intended, that is, to display art works to pedestrians in the street. The Dundas Street extension has a two-storey cross section which reduces the width (and use) of the galleries on the second floor. The galleries are further punctuated by a series of openings to allow gallery users views to Dundas Street. It was felt that this seriously compromised the use and flexibility of the galleries' wall space for displaying art. The two-storey north/south 'pedestrian' street means that the Zacks Galleries must be extended eastward over the truck service area in order to maintain the same gallery area. The looped circulation route is strong, but it was questioned if the bridge through the centre of the sculpture court would compromise the use of this gallery. The notion of exposing the central older gallery as an archeological artefact was interesting. The opening up and reuse of many of the existing skylights would certainly be interesting in the Old Masters galleries, but would need to be investigated as to cost and energy demands. The Grange Park facade is not entirely successful in relation to The Grange and Ontario College of Art buildings.
(From specialized magazine)
7 scanned / 7 viewable
- Photograph of Model