- Completed: 2016
- Client: Trinity Square Video
- With Tom Ngo
Trinity Square Video was founded in 1971 as Canada’s first media arts centre, and one of the earliest artist-run centres of any kind in the country. In 2016, TSV moved into a new space in the 401 Richmond Building and commissioned Studio F Minus to design and oversee the renovation of the space.
The challenge? TSV was moving into a coveted and prominent spot in the very core of the building, characterized by its full glass greenhouse gable roof. A lovely feature for most any other tenant moving into the space, a problematic one for a gallery and production space which primarily exhibits videos, projections, and other artworks sensitive to lighting conditions. Working on a limited budget, Studio F Minus wanted to find a way to create a versatile exhibition space conducive to the presentation of media art, while keeping the defining feature of the space, and providing a highly functional office and production space for staff and members of the organization.
The key feature of the gallery design is the radio-controlled retractable blinds running along the greenhouse gable. This mechanism allows the curator to create different lighting conditions for each exhibition, or even for different times of day. Typically, the light which slips through the partially open blinds illuminates the central artery of the gallery, and leaves the outer walls of the gallery dark. This play between light and dark creates a media art gallery which is warm and welcoming for visitors, but still functional.
Behind the main gallery feature wall, Studio F Minus designed sunny, highly functional office and production space, with workstations specifically designed for different administrative or production tasks.