The “Helga and Mike Schmidt Performance Terrace” and the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) Square were designed by Siamak Hariri from the HPA Architects. These new urban extensions create a street-level living and entertainment space, which invites people to spend time around the museum.
The ROM, one of the greatest museums in North America and Canada, is known for its famous extension, the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal designed by Daniel Libeskind in 2002. This renovated portion of the museum has been named in recognition of Michael Lee-Chin, who donated 30 million dollars to express his gratitude to the country that welcomed him and his family. This urban project marks the third and last phase of the “ROM’s Welcome” project, which includes the reopening of the Weston Family entrance (also designed by HPA) and fee access to the Daphne Cockwell Gallery.
For the architect, this project symbolizes welcoming, it is an invitation to end the museum’s walls. The idea behind this, is that this new space creates a warm and open connexion between the ROM and the city, so that life and animation develops around the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal. Pedestrians can sit back and relax while enjoying the many outdoor shows. This museum is meant to be a place for everyone, where we live and gather.
The adjoining street has the dreamlike name of “Philosopher’s Walk” and its greenery blends perfectly with the lush flower beds that grow in this new urban space.
The director of the ROM, Josh Basseches, aspires to strengthen “the commitment of the museum to be a place for all” through this project.