Michael Lee-Chin Crystal Wins its First Award

Canadian Institute of Steel Construction Recognizes Innovative Steel Design

The Royal Ontario Museum’s (ROM) new Michael Lee-Chin Crystal, designed by internationally renowned architect Daniel Libeskind, won its first award at the May 16th Ontario Steel Design Awards banquet. At this event, the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC) presented a 2007 Award of Merit for the innovative steel design of the Lee-Chin Crystal. Halsall Associates Ltd., the structural engineering firm behind the renovation, and the project’s architectural partner Bregman + Hamann Architects accepted the award on behalf of the ROM and Studio Daniel Libeskind.

“We are honoured to be recognized for building what will be a significant fact in the Canadian architectural landscape,” said William Thorsell, Director and CEO of the ROM. “The contemporary design of the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal redefines the corner of Bloor and Queen’s Park, and this remarkable structure will become the heart of Toronto’s cultural life.”

The Ontario Steel Design Awards is a yearly celebration of projects that illustrate ingenuity and innovation in the use of structural steel or platework with six award categories. The Michael Lee-Chin Crystal won in the Engineering category, for buildings in which engineering considerations predominantly influenced the design and construction of the structure. The 2007 award is for projects completed between October 2005 and April 2007.

The new addition at the ROM was one of the most challenging engineering and construction jobs in North America. Approximately 2,800 tonnes of steel, 3,000 steel pieces, 38 tonnes of bolts, and 9,000 cubic metres of concrete were used to complete the Lee-Chin Crystal’s intricate structure, with unique challenges that push the limits of steel fabrication and construction.

On June 2, 2007, the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal opens to the public. The 175,000 square-foot, aluminium-and-glass-covered Lee-Chin Crystal will house seven permanent galleries overlooking Bloor Street West, a new main entrance and lobby, the ROM Museum Store, Crystal Five (C5) Restaurant Lounge and special events facilities, as well as Canada’s largest space for international exhibitions. The building is the centrepiece of the Renaissance ROM renovation and expansion project, expected to be complete in 2009.