Located in Toronto, Canada’s largest city of 6.5 million, the AGO is one of the largest art museums in North America. Its collection of close to 95,000 works ranges from contemporary art to European masterpieces; from the collection by the Group of Seven to works by Indigenous Canadian artists; with a photography collection that tracks the impact of the medium and with focused collections in Gothic boxwood miniatures and Western and Central African art. An expansion designed by Frank Gehry in 2008, with lead support from the family of Ken Thomson, makes the AGO an architectural landmark.
The AGO has been undergoing improvements and renovations for a number of years and the most recent project was an ambitious one. In a joint effort with the City of Toronto and the local community, the AGO worked to revitalize Grange Park, a 4.5 acre green space located behind the gallery. Where there was only an emergency exit into the park before, the AGO and its architect, Harari Pontarini, devised a plan to tear out the existing interior stairwell and room and the double doors to create a new space with a 6-½-foot diameter, 4-wing BoonAssist TQ revolving door that opens the gallery to the park.
“We definitely had some space constraints in creating this new entrance,” explains Warren Wilson, manager of facilities services. “There was no room for a vestibule, so we decided on a revolving door configuration, and the Boon Edam entrance was recommended by our architects.”
The Boon Edam BoonAssist TQ is a manual revolving door that has three distinct features; a push and go power assist drive that reduces user effort by up to 50 percent; automatic positioning of the door wings at the end posts upon completion of rotation; and speed control that prevents rotation faster than 12 rpm to help ensure safe operation.
Wilson explained that the park is one of the few green spaces surrounding the AGO and space is at a premium. “We’re very conscious of our effect on the neighborhood and the fact that we could locate the entire door inside the building with its opening attached to the exterior wall minimized the impact on the surrounding area. I also really like the smart feature of the door; after use it positions itself to close the opening to the outside automatically.”
From Grange Park, one enters the South entrance through the BoonAssist door and travels 11 feet to a downward staircase that connects the entrance directly to the AGO Weston Family Learning Centre. The space adjacent to the door also features displayed artwork. “The South entrance is now our fourth entrance to the gallery, but it’s unique in that it offers an additional art space while opening us to the park, offering our staff and visitors a new way to interact with this beautiful new green space.”