TORONTO.- When the transformed AGO opens on November 14, it will not only be filled with spectacular art, but will feature beautiful, contemporary furniture by avant-garde Danish and Canadian designers.
Thanks to two generous partnerships, the exceptional AGO building will be enhanced by outstanding furniture design. The Gallery has worked with leading suppliers to integrate furnishings into the Frank Gehry-designed spaces, providing visitors with both comfort and style.
The AGO has joined forces with the Roy al Danish Consulate General in Toronto to incorporate the work of some of Denmark 's most acclaimed designers. Through several leading Danish supporters and the generosity of furniture manufacturers, the AGO has purchased more than $1.5 million worth of Danish-designed furniture at a significant discount. Pieces supplied by Carl Hansen, Fritz Hansen, Erik Jørgensen and One Collection, to name only a few, will be found in the AGO's new restaurant FRANK, Café AGO, the Norma Ridley Members' Lounge, the espresso bar and the contemporary galleries.
To make the purchase possible, more than $430,000 was provided by several Danish foundations - the A.P. Møller and Chastine Mc-Kinney Møller Foundation, Augustinus Fonden, Oticon Fonden, Knud Højgaards Fond - and local Canadian contributions.
The SuperDanish project began two years ago, when architect Frank Gehry and the AGO enthusiastically embraced the offer to give the new Gallery a Danish design profile. Denmark's honorary Consul General, Arne Nordtorp, and Trade Commissioner and Consul, Peter Moerk, have worked closely with the AGO to select a design that focuses on comfort, quality and functionality.
"Partnering first class Danish design with the spectacular new AGO, this project is an exceptional story of the opportunities created when culture and business work together. It is a permanent imprint for Denmark in Canada ," says Carina Christensen, the Danish Minister for Culture.
The furniture in the Gallery's restaurant and café was selected by Frank Gehry. The AGO's new restaurant will also feature tableware by Danish designers George Jensen, Eva Solo, Rikke Jakobsen and Holmegaard. Several pieces of furniture, as well as some of the tableware, will be available for purchase in the AGO retail shop.
"Danish designers are among the leaders in innovative design and these new pieces work seamlessly with our new building," says Linda Milrod , program director of Transformation AGO. "The incredible generosity and commitment of the Royal Danish Consulate General has allowed us to achieve something very, very special."
Thanks to a new partnership, the AGO will also feature furniture by the Toronto-based Teknion Corporation, an award-winning Canadian furniture manufacturer. Through this generous corporate support, the entrance lobby, staff and volunteer offices and lounges, and selected galleries will be furnished with Teknion-designed and fabricated pieces.
"Teknion is very excited to be part of the new AGO and this stunning new Gallery with spaces by famed Canadian architect Frank Gehry," says David Feldberg, Teknion president and CEO.
Teknion has won more than 50 design awards in the past four years, including the Design of the Decade award from the Industrial Designers Society of America. Teknion's highly functional, integrated product design enhances both the aesthetic vision and practical nature of the transformed AGO.
"The relationships that have resulted from Transformation AGO have had a resounding impact on the project's success," says Matthew Teitelbaum, the AGO's Michael and Sonja Koerner director and CEO. "The support we have received from our Danish p art ners, Teknion Corporation and Gehry International have all enhanced the Gallery's design and atmosphere."