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Frank Gehry's first Canadian building, Art Gallery of Ontario, opens to the public on Friday

November 10, 2008 |  2:54 pm

Frank Gehry

Last week, Culture Monster reported that starchitect Frank O. Gehry's firm, Gehry Partners, would be moving from Los Angeles to El Segundo in order to gain more space.  This week, there's more Gehry news:  On Friday, the public will get its first official glimpse of Gehry's $276-million transformation of the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), located in Gehry's hometown of Toronto. According to the museum, this is Gehry's first Canadian building.

We say "official glimpse" because passers-by can obviously see the massive structure, which contains 110 galleries and displays 4,000 artworks from the 73,000 objects in the permanent collection; on Friday, they get to go inside. The press gets its first walkthroughs on Wednesday, so by the time the public arrives they will know whether they should like the building or not.

In fact, the Toronto Globe and Mail has already weighed in on the AGO redesign, which features a glass and wood facade that spans 600 feet and rises 70 feet above street level, offering a mixed review that concludes, if nothing else, that Gehry dreams big.

Can't get to Toronto for the Friday opening?  Here are a few images to take you there...

Dundas_and_mccaul_exterior View_of_south_facadelowres Salon Contemporary1lowres

-- Diane Haithman

Photo: Frank O. Gehry. Credit: courtesy Frank Gehry.

Art Gallery of Ontario (clockwise from left):

View from Dundas and McCaul Streets, Gehry International Architects, Inc., courtesy AGO Photographic Resources; Salon, courtesy AGO Photographic Resources; Vivian & David Campbell Centre for Contemporary Art, courtesy Carlo Catenazzi, AGO photographer; View of south facade, Gehry International Architects, Inc., courtesy of Gehry International Architects.

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