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Michael Lee-Chin Crystal peaks lit in vibrant colours to celebrate the Architectural Opening, June 2007
Creator: Brian Boyle
Date of Image: June 1, 2007
Other Media: Podcast: Opening Highlights
ROM Links: Michael Lee-Chin Crystal
Museum ID Number: ROM2007_9324_10
Image Number: ROM2007_9324_10

Here, the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal is illuminated in vibrant colours for the opening weekend celebrations that occurred from June 1 to 3, 2007.

The highlight of the weekend was A World of Possibilities – the free outdoor concert celebrating the official Architectural Opening and Building Dedication on June 2, 2007. An estimated 40, 000 people gathered in the new Bloor Street Plaza and on Bloor Street West to witness this historic milestone. After the concert, the ROM opened its doors for free access throughout the night, and into the following day. An estimated 22,227 people experienced the ROM first-hand during the opening weekend.

Named in honour of Michael Lee-Chin, in appreciation of his lead donation of $30-million, the Lee-Chin Crystal is the centerpiece of Renaissance ROM, the Museum’s latest renovation and expansion project. Designed by internationally-renowned architect Daniel Libeskind, in a joint partnership with Toronto’s Bregman + Hamann Architects, the dramatic new wing is among the most challenging construction projects in North America due to its engineering complexity and innovative construction methods.

Libeskind’s concept for the shape of the new building was inspired by specimens from the ROM’s gem and mineral collection. The design was quickly dubbed the ‘crystal’ because of its crystalline shape. The aluminum- and glass-covered building houses seven permanent galleries and a new main entrance and lobby that overlooks Bloor Street West. It is comprised of five interlocking, self-supporting prismatic structures that co-exist and interface the historic buildings that embrace this dynamic structure.

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