Hariri Pontarini Architects designs new façade for ROM’s Weston Entrance

© Hariri Pontarini Architects. Watercolour rendering by Michael McCann Associates Ltd.
© Hariri Pontarini Architects. Watercolour rendering by Michael McCann Associates Ltd.

The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) has announced that it is re-opening the Museum’s heritage Weston Entrance, an important component of the ROM’s Welcome Project that will enhance the ROM’s role as a vital civic hub for visitors and offer greater access to Canada’s pre-eminent museum.

Slated for completion in September 2017, the re-opening of the entrance on Queen’s Park is timed to coincide with Canada’s 150 celebrations. This revitalization project was made possible by The W. Garfield Weston Foundation and through a $1.5 million investment by the Government of Ontario.

“Opening the doors to Queen’s Park is part of the ROM’s ongoing transformation as a 21st century museum, one that both respects our heritage and looks forward to the future,” says Josh Basseches, ROM Director and CEO. “This project opens up the ROM — both literally and symbolically — to our community, offering visitors better access to their Museum and builds on our commitment to create an exceptional visitor experience.”

The revitalization of the Museum’s landmark Queen’s Park façade is designed by Toronto architect Siamak Hariri of Hariri Pontarini Architects. With these renovations, the Weston Entrance becomes one of two public entry points to the Museum. The reconstruction includes extending, refurbishing and heating the limestone steps to create a welcoming public gathering place that complements the Bloor St. Michael Lee-Chin Crystal Entrance, on the building’s north side. The refurbishments also include new accessibility ramps to provide even greater access for those using wheelchairs or using strollers.

Contemporary glass doors will offer clear views into the Museum’s historic Rotunda and through to the Samuel Hall Currelly Gallery. The Hilary and Galen Weston Wing and The Weston Family Wing will also be illuminated by new architectural lighting at night to enhance the ROM’s historic façade. New landscaping will provide more green space on the grounds facing Queen’s Park and draw visitors to the redesigned entrance.

Opening an additional entrance re-connects the Museum to one of the Canada’s most prominent addresses, while giving visitors convenient access from Queen’s Park and the Museum subway station. Once inside, visitors can purchase admission tickets for access to the Museum’s more than 40 gallery and exhibition spaces.

The Welcome Project will encompass a number of other initiatives that will enhance the ROM’s presence on the Bloor Street corridor. These include the Helga and Mike Schmidt Performance Terrace, and additional landscape design elements that will enhance the Museum’s public and green spaces. Further details will be announced soon.