aA has transformed the Tower Automotive Building, a heritage-designated warehouse in Toronto’s Lower Junction, into a new cultural hub anchored by the Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto Canada (MOCA), Canada’s newest public gallery dedicated to international contemporary art. MOCA combines a ground-floor public meeting hall, café and temporary exhibit space, with four floors of exhibition halls, workshops and maker spaces, administrative offices and libraries. The top five stories of the building will be occupied by creative practices that are remaking the Lower Junction.
The key to the building's revival was a series of unobtrusive interventions that reveal the bones of this extraordinary building – mediations rooted in the history of its structure. The only overt deviation from this light touch are the transparent glass ‘pop-out’ boxes along the west face of the building. These secondary entrances trace the points of connection between the auto building and former manufacturing out-buildings, and act as lanterns to conduct light into MOCA’s main floor.