Shumael Amir

Museum of Architecture

Mission Statement: Architecture Lens

Architecture is a tool of experience; its intent is to mold and materialize spaces to create an immersive and experiential quality in the built language. Thus, the creation of architecture can truly be understood through an open dialogue between the space and the user. Throughout the profession and institutional pathway of architecture, the architect/student recognizes the world in a new critical layer: The Architectural lens. This is further developed through a critical lens in which architecture can not only be viewed, but rather analyzed. The purpose of the building becomes less to stand as a functional space waiting to be filled, and more to become an object to be explored and understood through various layers of critique and curiosity. Thus, it is the mission of the museum to provide such outlook onto its visitors to further understand the context of the city and world around them.

Concept: Duality

The museum defines architecture through the concept of duality explaining that no one thing can exist without its opposite. These conditions include: Light and Dark, Big and Small, Smooth and Rough, Solid and Void, Exterior and Interior, Natural and Synthetic, Old and New, Opaque and Transparent, Organic and Linear, Soft and Hard, and Static and Kinetic. All of these dual systems together conclude that ARCHITECTURE CANNOT EXIST WITHOUT THE EXPERIENCE. Thus, each dual condition is used to display the core concepts of building architecture and divide the museum into 11 exhibits. Furthermore, this layer of juxtaposition is also achieved by the contemporary and old design of the church and the addition. As the addition follows concepts of transparency and lightness, the church becomes a grounding moment and becomes a humble aspect of the design.

Exhibitions: Experiential vs. Artefact

The exhibits are further divided into two parts both displaying the same dual condition. The experiential exhibit carves the experience of architecture into the museum itself. The museum curates its own architectural fragments and leads the user to understand the built system through this strong motif of the “building as artefact”. Rather than gaining information from other collections, the embedded fragment develops a definition of architecture through the action of discovery. Furthermore, the experiential exhibits are paired with a display of architectural drawings, projections, tools, and artefacts as a way for users to learn how dual systems are implemented into the spaces. These exhibits provide a view into the ‘architectural lens’ as they produce a sense of curiosity and further provide insight on materializing architectural intent and concepts. These informative displays allow the users to develop their own critique on the experiential fragments and further explore the dual relationships.

Toronto Metropolitan Department of  Architectural Science Toronto, CA.