The Gardiner Museum designed by Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects,located in Toronto, Canada founded in 1983, is a small museum dedicated to the art of ceramics. By the early 1990s, its collections and programs had outgrown the original building. The renewal was conceived to resolve functional deficiencies and to expand programmable space for exhibition and outreach. A priority was to preserve the intimate scale for which the museum has been admired since its inception while creating a ‘quietly compelling’ presence to increase the museum’s cultural profile in the city.
The original Gardiner Museum was set back from the street and visitors were often too intimidated to enter the institution. The new façade is punctuated by floor to ceiling windows on almost every floor making it transparent and inviting views to the activities inside. The front is completely re-landscaped with a series of terraced platforms that bring the Gardiner to the street, and create a series of inviting outdoor spaces for the public to linger.
The Gardiner Museum is one of the world’s preeminent institutions devoted to ceramic art, and the only museum of its kind in Canada. In the first six months after its expansion, from June 23 through to December 31, 2006, the Museum attracted 38,400 visitors, a 92% increase.