London Regional Art Gallery

421 Ridout Street North, London, ON.

A visual landmark within the city center, the London Regional Art Gallery was sited on its own city block, between two National Historic Sites of Canada (Middlesex County Courthouse and the Ridout Street Complex) and opposite the Brutalist provincial courthouse.  The Art Gallery benefits from a commanding presence and dramatic views over the forks of the Thames River.

Architect Raymond Moriyama was influenced by Louis Kahn’s Kimbell Art Museum (1972) in Fort Worth, Texas, as evidenced in the parallel rows of concrete barrel vaults, which are top-lit with linear skylights.  A barrel-vaulted porte-cochere at the east forms a dramatic entrance to the building, and overlooks the lawn, which features works of art.  The building is also characterized by its metal cladding (originally blue) and stainless steel details including sunscreens.

Now “Museum London”, the building and its site are within London’s Downtown Heritage Conservation District.  London artist Paul Peel (1860-1892), whose paintings are within the collection, is commemorated at the site with a plaque from the National Historic Sites and Monuments Board.