*Design led by Eric Gordon while employed at a previous firm.
Gehry International Architects Inc.
Art Gallery of Ontario Transformation
97,000 ft2 Addition, 200,000 ft2 Renovation
Structural Engineering Consultant
Transformation AGO, an innovative architectural expansion by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry, establishes the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) as a prime cultural hub in step with leading worldwide destinations. Transparency, city views and a relationship to the historic Grange Park characterise the project, establishing the institution as a centre for art display, programming, conservation, storage, creation and research.
The project includes the addition and renovation of almost 100,000 ft2 and 200,000 ft2 respectively, for an increase of close to 50% in dedicated art-viewing space. Notable features include the striking Galleria Italia atrium along the AGO’s north façade, and a spiral staircase on the south side, linking the gallery’s first two levels to the three new floors above. The former space features a custom hinge connection developed by the team, allowing multi-directional movement to separate the glulam mullion façade from the sloped main backup glulam framing.
Challenge: Design the new art gallery to sit over the existing building.
Solution: A limited number of strategically located steel columns were threaded through the existing structure to support the new superstructure. The new columns were founded on a system of mini piles suitable for installation in low headroom locations.