The Bata Shoe Museum houses one of the world’s most impressive collections of footwear – over 10,000 items spanning 4,500 years of history, all with a compelling and evocative story to tell.
One of the major challenges in designing a museum is to generate excitement and attract visitors. At the museum’s entrance, a two-storey transparent glass wedge breaks the limestone wall in two and spills out onto the sidewalk in a welcoming gesture that can’t be missed.
The combination of Toronto’s latitude (43D39 N) and unique off-axis street grid (17D NNW) creates an opportunity for an intriguing interplay of light, shade, and shadow on the Museum’s street-facing walls. Clad with a French limestone with the warm tone, soft sheen, and fine texture of raw leather, the walls respond in remarkable ways to changing light conditions throughout the day and year.