6.04.2007

rom revisit

Since my post about Torontonians' reaction to the new addition to the Royal Ontario Museum attracted a lively discussion, here's a bit of follow-up.

According to the Star, reaction at the opening was generally positive. Of course it's an extremely skewed sample, since I doubt people who loathe the building, or who don't care about architecture, would attend the opening. Still, I was cheered to read that thousands of people showed up. A major addition to the Toronto streetscape deserves the attention.
So what will the verdict be? An architectural wonder or a risky monstrosity?

The crowds waiting all day to get their first glimpse inside the now-infamous Crystal, which opened this weekend as part of Luminato's Open Weekend Festivities, were downright split as to what they thought of the museum's $270-million makeover.

"I think it's a very daring building. It's nice to see such bold architecture in Toronto," said Lianne Raymond, as she stood in line about the building's exterior.

In a hurried city like Toronto, Raymond says it might take a structure like the Crystal for people to slow down.

Rosemary Bishop, who was waiting in line with her friend, Lana Grill yesterday afternoon, went even further.

"I am really proud of it," she said. "I think it's a real architectural wonder."

But for others, there was still something that troubled them.

"I don't think it works for the space. I am disappointed that there's not more glass," Phyllis Wharton said.

"I think it loses something," said Alexandra Zalucky. "You would have had much more of a beautiful impact if it is made of glass.

"It's interesting but not beautiful."

Still, she says she is curious to see how it looks inside.

"I think it's interesting it's open all night," she said.

"It would be cool to check out the museum at night."

It's a sentiment that Wharton echoes. "I am dying to see it from the inside," she said.

For Lana Grill, it's the juxtaposition between old and new that caught her fancy.

"It's so unexpected between two old buildings," said Grill.

"We are impressed from the outside."

As for Evguenia Ioussoufovitch, she says she has mixed feelings about what she describes as "controversial" project.

"It's a risky move when it's a fusion of stuff," adding "it's nice to have something new as long as it fits."

On the subject of whether or not the two structures, old and new, belong together, James sent me this neat snippet.

Canadian icon Leonard Cohen recently collaborated with the great composer Philip Glass, part of Toronto's Luminato festival (which I confess I haven't paid any attention to). The Daily Dose of Imagery photoblog posted this photo of Glass and Cohen in conversation about the project. The caption reads:
Leonard Cohen jokingly described the collaboration: "It shouldn't have worked, but it did. Like that iceberg crashing into that museum . . . a beautiful catastrophe!" comparing the piece to Daniel Libeskind's new architectural addition to Royal Ontario Museum.

Lovely! Here are the Daily Dose's photos of the ROM Opening.

I've been very much anchored in Mississauga these days - between writing deadlines, unemployment and the gorgeous weather (that is, my love of my own backyard), I haven't had time, money or inclination to wander around Toronto. My mom is visiting in early July, and I've saved the ROM's ancient Peru exhibit for us to do together. That will be my first visit to the museum, and probably my first view of the completed and unveiled crystal.

1 comment:

James said...

I agree with the glass comments -- I was quite disappointed when I realized how much of the covering would be metal instead of glass.

I didn't get out on the weekend (too busy with pup and Ride for Heart), but I hope to get over soon with the camera.