AGO launches 40,000-sf Passive House expansion
March 7, 2023
Construction is expected to begin next year.
The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) has begun a $100-million expansion project, which will add 13 new, column-free exhibition spaces across five floors, totalling 40,000 sf and increasing the space available for displaying art by 30%.
Diamond Schmitt, Selldorf Architects and Two Row Architect have revealed the expansion’s designs, which were initiated last year. EllisDon will manage construction, which is expected to begin next year.
The project has been named the Dani Reiss Modern and Contemporary Gallery, after its lead donor, the chair and CEO of Canada Goose. Reiss’ gift of $35 million is among the largest in AGO history.
The expansion will sit one storey above the AGO’s loading dock, nestled between the building and the Ontario College of Art & Design University (OCAD U). It will connect to existing galleries from four locations, supporting visitor circulation throughout the museum.
“In the past decade, we’ve welcomed more than 20,000 artworks into the collection,” says AGO CEO Stephan Jost. Now, thanks to both a monumental lead gift and the vision of our architect partners, we’re set to display them in a beautiful space.”
The expanded spaces are being designed to operate without burning fossil fuels and will be built to Passive House standards for maximum efficiency in heating and cooling. An all-electric mechanical plant will use no operational carbon and create no emissions. One of the project’s goals is the Canada Green Building Council’s (CaGBC’s) Zero Carbon Operating Building certification.