Bata Shoe Museum

The historical aspects of the building was that Mrs. Bata herself was very intrigued by shoes in different cultures and traditions due to her frequent business travels.[1] From this she started a collection of her own privately, but soon became so large that she decided to have them for display. Her finest collection did not have a permanent home for about 15 years.[1] Architectural firm Moriyama and Teshima Architects designed the “small gem of a museum” for Mrs. Bata’s collection. Mrs. Bata was heavily involve where she started a foundation to help research on shoes while searching for a permanent location for her collection. Until this day the current use of the building is still the same housing to more then 12 500 shoes for the public to enjoy.[4]

The facade is predominately stone masonry, limestone to be exact, each limestone is equivalent in size and creates two walls that is divided by the glass wedge shape entrance.[3] The cladding of the French limestone creates a warm tone, soft sheen, and fine texture of raw leather.[1] The hand picked masonry from Lyons becomes sympathetic towards the opposing buff coloured buildings. The walls respond in remarkable ways to changing light conditions throughout the day and year.[1] During a sunny day the intersecting and receding wall become animated by the sun’s reflection from building across the opposite side of the street. Furthermore the late afternoon sunlight transforms the limestone from a gradual shift of golden glow to a remarkable range of mauve tones.[4]

The display of natural and artificial lighting spreading out towards the limestone creates a intriguing display that enhances the museum’s entrance on Bloor Street.[1] The explosiveness of the wedge from the shoebox gives passers by a view through the lobby pass the cantilevered staircase then towards the 42 foot high glass window faceted onto the south side.[1]

Work Cited

[1] ” A Unique Museum .” Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2010. http://www.batashoemuseum.

[2] Benstock, Shari. “The Ends of Fashion.” Footnotes: On Shoes. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 2001. 17 – 30. Print.

[3] Goodfellow, Margaret, and Phil Goodfellow. “The Bata Shoe Museum.” A Guidebook to Contemporary Architecture in Toronto. Vancouver, B.C: Douglas & Mcintyre, 2010. 46. Print.

[4] “mtarch.com Bata Shoe Museum.” Moriyama & Teshima. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Oct. 2010. http://www.mtarch.com/mtabsm

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