Canadian architect Ron Thom’s was considered one of the country’s most important and greatest architects of all time. He challenged conventional thinking and masterfully planned out all elements including the landscape to the interiors and looked at his work with the “whole world” in mind.
Born in British Columbia this architect first established himself out west. Although he never went to architecture school, he was considered having a natural given talent. Thom apprenticed at Thomson, Berwick & Pratt in BC and ultimately worked his way up to partner while receiving accolades for his designs. In 1963 he opened R.J. Thom & Associates in Toronto.
His incredible design portfolio includes private residences as well as significant buildings including Massey College at the University of Toronto, Trent University in Peterborough, Prince Hotel in Toronto, Metropolitan Toronto Zoo, Shaw Festival Theatre at Niagara-on-the-Lake, Vancouver’s 60 story British Columbia Building, Sir Sandford Fleming College in Peterborough, the Civic Centre in Hamilton, the arts & science building at Queen’s University, and Lester B. Pearson College in Vancouver.
The Gardiner Museum in Toronto currently hosts an incredible exhibit of Ron Thom’s work celebrating many of his iconic structures including Massey College and Trend University. The exhibit features a selection from his most creative period, 1947-1972. On display is a treasure trove of original architectural drawings and sketches, archival photography , prototypes for furniture and original paintings. I stood for at least 15 minutes in awe staring at the diamond-shaped wooden drawers on display. Ron Thom often worked with a diamond-shaped grid instead of the conventional square grids which allowed him to create dramatically shaped structures. When he designed his West Vancouver Carmichael House it was like a honeycomb of hexagons. Most of the corners were in angled 30, 60 or 120 degrees rather than the 90 degree standard.
The Ron Thom and the Allied Arts is a travelling exhibition that explores this architect’s most admired buildings and finest achievements.
The exhibition is currently showing at the Gardiner Museum in Toronto until April 27, 2014. The feature also includes special events.
Just this past week I had attended the very stylish Mod Mad Party – feeling very chic amongst the martini set!
For more information about the exhibition and other upcoming events, visit www.gardinermuseum.on.ca