The design sets the museum in conversation with its surrounding urban context. Located across University Avenue from the Royal Ontario Museum, immediately north of the University of Toronto's downtown campus, and around the corner from the Royal Conservatory of Music, the Gardiner is a significant presence in one of Toronto's evolving cultural precincts.
The program involved 4,300 square-metres of strategic additions and renovations. Within the existing building, this includes a new entrance vestibule, an expanded museum shop and a contemporary ceramics gallery. The third floor addition accommodates a flexible exhibition space, a café/restaurant and multi-purpose event space. The intimate scale of the museum is preserved and the reconfiguration of the plan and circulation draws visitors to previously unimagined views of the facade and pediments of the adjacent heritage architecture, and city beyond.