A Manifesto of Design

Text | Maria Aslam
Photography | Gary Otte, Janet Kimber & Maria Aslam

Building Facts
Architect: Maki and Associates, Tokyo
Architect of record: Moriyama and Teshima Architects, Toronto
Landscape architect: Vladimir Djurovic Landscape Architecture, Lebanon
Museography: Studio Adrien Gardère, Paris
The site: 6.8 hectares

Museum gross floor area: 10,500 square metres
Size of galleries: 1,800 square metres
Size of collections storage: 620 square metres
Seats in auditorium: 350

Height of auditorium roof: 19.8 metres
Period from design to completion: 2004 to 2014

On the highway, short of Don Valley Parkway, a glimpse of the new addition of a Museum in Toronto is clearly visible. Situated away from the downtown area a major district of Museums and academia, itself is a statement and with such an iconic contemporary architecture amongst nondescript entities of sky-rises; it’s the distance and the distinction from its surroundings that reinforces its massive appeal in the design conundrums. In todays sprawling cityscapes the addition of any museum is distinctly urban and urbane specially Toronto; that boasts of a number of Museums equally designed by Star architects hence The Aga Khan Museum, the very first North America’s monument to Islamic art and founded by The Aga Khan renowned world over as an architecture aficionado, who was involved in the project from concept to materialization, it is known to all that His Highness himself selected the iridescent granite cubes that adorn the façade; is set to make a statement both in architecture and culture. The Museum a white gleaming Brazilian granite masterpiece adds to its distinction from its surroundings and creates an oasis of history, learning and entertainment; an oasis that once you enter, you leave the world behind.

With the lush gardens and the five reflective pools outside its front door and its inner-sanctum, open-air courtyard—entered from inside the building and ringed by walls of glass and wooden latticework so that light from outside projects dancing shadows into the museum over the course of the day—it is clear that this is a labour of love. But that is not all; The Ismaili Centre, Toronto is situated, together with the Aga Khan Museum, within a 6.8-hectare landscaped park, a new space for the public that showcases the work of three renowned architects. Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki designed the Aga Khan Museum, while Indian architect Charles Correa designed the Ismaili Centre and architect Vladimir Djurovic of Lebanon designed the Park, which features a formal garden. The Canadian firm Moriyama & Teshima are the architects for the entire project and responsible for integrating all aspects of the project.


Copyright © 2012 ADA: Architecture Design Art.