ROM Institute of Contemporary Culture

Toronto, ON

Project Facts

  • Location

    Toronto, ON

  • Status

    Completed 2016

  • Size

    6,300 Sq. Ft.

  • Partner

  • Client

    Royal Ontario Museum

ROM Contemporary Culture’s exhibition space, the Roloff Beny Gallery, is located at the top of the dramatically angled Michael Lee-Chin Crystal. Since the completion of the Crystal in 2007, ROM Contemporary Culture had constructed new display configurations for each changing exhibit. When invited to design the walls for the 2009 Vanity Fair photography exhibit, HPA saw an opportunity to propose a more sustainable scenario. The design solution, nine movable walls at varying heights and angles, reduces the cost of rebuilding the interior gallery space time and time again.


Standard dimension display walls would appear undersized in the soaring six thousand square foot Crystal. Inspired by icebergs, the new walls define a space within the space, drawing the eye up and around the monumental interior, allowing allow visitors to simultaneously experience the art on display and the sculptural phenomenon of the larger gallery.

Project Facts

  • Location

    Toronto, ON

  • Status

    Completed 2016

  • Size

    6,300 Sq. Ft.

  • Partner

  • Client

    Royal Ontario Museum

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Finished in a warm coloured dry wall, the elevated steel-enforced wall components float around the gallery, occasionally touching down at points in the surrounding room. The components adapt the space to changing curatorial needs and expectations.

Finished in a warm coloured dry wall, the elevated steel-enforced wall components float around the gallery, occasionally touching down at points in the surrounding room. The components adapt the space to changing curatorial needs and expectations.

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The walls not only enhance natural light, but also guide the visitor’s movement and generate a dialogue with the existing architecture. The design aims to facilitate interaction between the exhibits, visitors, and the architecture of the Crystal.

The walls not only enhance natural light, but also guide the visitor’s movement and generate a dialogue with the existing architecture. The design aims to facilitate interaction between the exhibits, visitors, and the architecture of the Crystal.