ROM Contemporary Culture

Royal Ontario Museum (ROM)

Location Toronto, Ontario
Status Completed 2009
Size 6,300 sq.ft / 585 m²
Partner Siamak Hariri

ROM Contemporary Culture’s exhibition space, the Roloff Beny Gallery, is located at the top of the dramatically angled Michael Lee-Chin Crystal. Since the completion of the Crystal in 2007, ROM Contemporary Culture had constructed new display configurations for each changing exhibit. When invited to design the walls for the 2009 Vanity Fair photography exhibit, HPA saw an opportunity to propose a more sustainable scenario. The design solution, nine movable walls at varying heights and angles, reduces the cost of rebuilding the interior gallery space time and time again.

Standard dimension display walls would appear undersized in the soaring six thousand square foot Crystal. Inspired by icebergs, the new walls define a space within the space, drawing the eye up and around the monumental interior, allowing allow visitors to simultaneously experience the art on display and the sculptural phenomenon of the larger gallery. Finished in a warm coloured dry wall, the elevated steel-enforced wall components float around the gallery, occasionally touching down at points in the surrounding room. The components adapt the space to changing curatorial needs and expectations.

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