– Mark E. Smith

Because he changes his story halfway along and insinuates you were a moron for ever believing the original story.

Case in point: Is the sodomizing and parasitizing amyloid plaque now invading the Royal Ontario Museum a “crystal,” and if so, aren’t crystals transparent and made mostly or entirely of glass?

Originally, yes. Now, no. (Emphases added.)

  1. “Rebuilt ROM could key rebirth of city’s pride,” 2002.02.26:

    Daniel Libeskind made the cut with a submission called the Crystal. It would transform the ROM – and reveal it – through a series of glazed extensions and protrusions that shoot out from the existing buildings at all angles.

  2. “The man who will reshape the ROM,” 2002.06.01:

    He won the commission in February with a concept called the Crystal, a series of huge transparent forms that appear to be growing out of the museum’s historic east and west wings.

  3. “ROM’s new look gets a tweaking,” 2002.10.09:

    In its latest incarnation, the extension has become smaller and more transparent. The most obvious changes are on the glass surfaces that define the crystals; in the previous version, these surfaces were divided into an M.C. Escher–like jigsaw puzzle of shapes, some transparent, some translucent. Now these surfaces are broken by a wildly geometric pattern of lines, squares, rectangles and triangles.

  4. “ROM’s man puts his art in context,” 2002.12.06:

    On one thing Daniel Libeskind is adamant; the Crystal will shine. Reaching out over the Bloor St. sidewalk, the $175 million addition he is designing for the Royal Ontario Museum will include glass sections big enough to display dinosaurs and Dior gowns.

    The Crystal, as he calls it, won’t be entirely transparent; there will be opaque areas as well as smaller windows. “It was never 100% glass,” Libeskind explains. “It will be a mixture of glass and metal. The frontage on Bloor has to be open, dramatically open. We have kept to the vision; the Crystal will be clear and united.”

  5. “A city on the verge of a building boom,” 2002.12.28:

    Libeskind’s Crystal, as he calls his proposal – a vast series of glass and steel protrusions [absence of hyphens sic] – will project from between the museum’s two original wings out over the sidewalk of Bloor St. […] Daniel Libeskind’s design for the Royal Ontario Museum, called the Crystal, was inspired by the crystalline forms in the museum’s mineralogy galleries. It includes adding interlocking glass-and-steel prisms [hyphens sic] to the existing wings along Bloor St. The addition will project over the sidewalk.

  6. “New ROM rising,” 2004.11.27:

    The cladding, the most visible part, will contribute nothing to the structural integrity. Applied last, the cladding, also called curtain wall, will literally hang from the steel skeleton. […] By next spring, the cladding will start to go up. Made of extruded anodized aluminum and glass, it will come from Germany in approximately 150 shipping containers. About 20% of the outside wall will be transparent, which means exhibits inside the museum, specifically dinosaurs, will be visible from the street.

  7. “It’s Crystal clear ROM will be city’s wow centre,” 2005.07.13:

    That will inevitably change as the glass and extruded aluminium cladding are put in place. Then the Crystal could actually start to look like a crystal, or at least an architectural version of one[, w]hich is to say it will fall somewhere between the organic and the man-made.

  8. “New ROM creates pleasant challenge,” 2006.04.13:

    [T]hese days Duncan and his crew of 160 are focus[s]ed on everything else, most notably the cladding, the aluminium skin of the building that is installed piece by piece like a giant jigsaw puzzle. […] Workers are still installing the subcladding, a watertight layer that will eventually be invisible, though many passersby have confused it for the real thing.

    And despite reports to the contrary, the main façades, those facing north to Bloor St., will include large areas of glass. Though Libeskind never intended the whole thing to be transparent, he had hoped for more. In the end, about one-sixth of the surface will be glazed, which means we’ll still be able to see into the interiors from the street. That T. Rex pictured in so many illustrations should still end up on display.

  9. (UPDATE, 2006.12.31)    And, two weeks after I posted this item originally, he does it again, in “It’s all about space and connections” (and misrepresentation), emphasis added:

    Just last week, the first few pieces of aluminum cladding were bolted into place. Though there will be many windows in the Crystal, the bulk of the exterior façade will be metal once work has been completed in March. […] Many passersby have mistaken this sub-cladding for the final exterior covering, and have not been impressed by what they’ve seen. Patience! […] Libeskind’s sharply angled “crystals” reach out over the sidewalk to provide a sheltered area below. […] Despite some confusion about transparency – some expected the entire Crystal would be glass, which was never the case – there are enough windows to provide views in and out of the building.

Here is what this piece of shit looks like in December 2006:

White angular forms, one of which has a strip half-covered in glass, project like mountains from a stone building

Can I get an answer from Christopher Hume, or from the grande dame of the ROM, Bill Thorsell, to a few questions?

  • Does this thing look “transparent” to you, and do you really think those icy frosted aluminum panels could be “confused” for something you can see all the way through?
  • If this is a crystal, it’s a crystal of what? Some metal? Did it tumble out of Mechagodzilla’s salt shaker?

And a kooky fun fact

There are so few photos of the ROM construction site in existence that a French magazine E-mailed me for permission to use my 2-megapixel Flickr snapshots.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2006.12.17 18:03. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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