Crystal Clear Design

Few things in life are ever crystal clear.  But clear crystal is a beautiful thing. The beauty in crystal lies in its clarity and it’s perfectly symmetrical design.  The sparkle, the bling factor makes crystal appealing and eye-catching.  Think crystal chandeliers, crystal decanters, the crystal ball and most recently the liquid crystal display (LCD) television.  So why is it that ‘The Crystal’, the new Daniel Libeskind architectural expansion at the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum) is so controversial?  Cantilevered out over Bloor St. in downtown Toronto, the Crystal’s overall aim was to provide openness and accessibility and to transform the entire museum complex into a dynamic centre of people, events and artifacts.  To re-vitalize it.  The ROM was originally built in 1914 in the style of Neo-Romanesque and the 1933 expansion was built in the Neo-Byzantine style.  Both styles lean toward a heavy, fortress-like design.  The new 2007 expansion by comparison is very different and diverse.  Very outrageous.  But original and new.  Shouldn’t we begin to marry the old with the new?  Not hang around in the ‘Romanesque’ period but carve out a new path?  A new style.  Something that reads ‘Modern’?  Aren’t we in a new Millennium?  Shouldn’t we leave our own mark?  Let me know what you think.  Is ‘The Crystal’ a forward thinking design….or not??


2 thoughts on “Crystal Clear Design

  1. Oh yes, “forward thinking”; and isn’t anything that does not simply attempt to replicate what has been done thinking forward. Also, does not the resistance to change, the controversy, reflect interesting facets of the human character and speak to the creative spirit. When I was last in Toronto I went by to see what the ‘fuss’ was all about and it took a bit of a search to find it – which was part of my surprise and delight. And then came the impact of it being a crystal, a venue for light, for vision – tucked in the midst of brick and stone and concrete. And one must look up!
    Wonderful, thought-inspiring blog!

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