The Art Gallery of Ontario Redevelopment - Toronto, Canada

Frank Gehry
317 Dundas Street West
The Art Gallery of Ontario underwent a $276 Million redevelopment in 2004 to a design by the Canadian architect Frank Gehry, who lists the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao in his portfolio.  There was disappointment in some quarters that Gehry was asked to modify an existing building rather than design a new one.

The AGO website lists the modifications that Gehry made which include: " .. a new entrance aligned with Walker Court and The Grange;  a glass and wood façade that runs for 600 feet along Dundas Street and rises 70 feet above street level; a sculpture gallery that extends for 450 feet; a new, tinted titanium-and-glass four-storey south wing overlooking Grange Park that will house a centre for contemporary art;  and a sculptural staircase that soars from the second floor, linking Walker Court to the new centre for contemporary art and new event space."

In an article in the New York Times dated November 14, 2008, Nicolai Ouroussoff said that, " ... this may be one of Mr. Gehry’s most gentle and self-possessed designs. It is not a perfect building, yet its billowing glass facade, which evokes a crystal ship drifting through the city, is a masterly example of how to breathe life into a staid old structure. And its interiors underscore one of the most underrated dimensions of Mr. Gehry’s immense talent: a supple feel for context and an ability to balance exuberance with delicious moments of restraint. Instead of tearing apart the old museum, Mr. Gehry carefully threaded new ramps, walkways and stairs through the original. As you step from one area to the next, it is as if you were engaging in a playful dance between old and new."

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