A dramatic new wing of Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) designed by Daniel Libeskind is set to open 2 June. Dubbed the Lee-Chin Crystal, the 175,000 square foot aluminum and glass clad building will house seven collection galleries on two levels, two special exhibition spaces, new retail and dining facilities and a new main entrance and lobby. Libeskind’s ‘Crystal” is comprised of five interlocking, self-supporting prismatic structures that interface with the historic buildings that embrace it. With hardly a right angle anywhere, its sloping walls create unique interior spaces with soaring volumes and such distinctive details as the “Spirit House”, a void at the heart of the building that is traversed by criss-crossing bridges. Slashing windows fill the rooms with natural light and create uniquely framed views of the cityscapes outside. The new wing is the centerpiece of the Museum’s $250 million expansion and renovation project to be completed by 2009.


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