The expansion and renovation of the AGO increases the exhibition space by nearly half the original size and reorganizes the internal circulation within the museum.
The Museum’s main exterior has been transformed by the addition of an elevated facade, made of gently curving glass and Douglas Fir, which stretches a full city block. This facade, which encloses a sculpture promenade, allows for natural light to enter the building and connects the gallery to the community outside.
A new titanium and glass-clad three-story south wing, overlooking Grange Park, was added to house a new Centre for Contemporary Art and a hosting centre for special events.
The main entry lobby has been relocated to align the entrance with the historical core of the museum. A “Meeting Place” at the corner of Dundas and McCaul Street is accessible to pedestrians and includes retail shops, restaurants, a theatre, and a space for contemporary art projects.
The integration of natural light throughout the building, including a new glass roof over Walker Court and a light-filled walkway around its upper perimeter, brings light into the core of the building.
A sculptural spiral staircase arises from the 2nd floor walkways around Walker Court, through the glass roof, to each level of the new south wing.
Light and exposure of the surrounding environment are key elements in the renovation of AGO. Natural light from multiple skylights in the galleries as well as the glass facades enhance the viewing experience within the museum.
Extensive glazing on both the north and south facades allow visitors to experience the surrounding cityscape from the Gallery interior.
The new AGO is Toronto born Frank Gehry’s first building in Canada and marks the very place where he made the initial connection between art and architecture.