Art Toronto 2015 Redesign by New York-based architects FIRM a.d.

Toronto, ON (April 13, 2015) – Art Toronto, Canada’s international fair for modern and contemporary art, announced today that it has retained New York-based architects FIRM Architecture and Design (FIRM a.d.) to reconceptualize the exhibition space for the 16th edition of the fair this October. The new layout and spatial concept will rework the entire art fair, incorporating approximately 100 galleries, publications, special projects, installations, lounges, dining, and stage areas. The redesign will create focal points to foster interactions between visitors and galleries, as well as integrate more intimate and enclosed environments. While artwork will remain the primary focus, the addition of new types of spaces will add visual interest and dynamism, and encourage patrons to linger, explore, and converse.

FIRM a.d. principal architect James Khamsi has taken inspiration for the design from metropolitan centres in North America and applied elements such as the diagonal cross streets of Washington D.C. and the green expanses of Savannah, GA to the exhibition floor. “We approached the project by first considering the many functions that Art Toronto performs – social space, market, even museum – and looked at how we can maximize them effectively and beautifully,” says Khamsi. “We looked at the way public spaces like city squares and avenues allow for the type of interactions and sense of discovery that Art Toronto hopes to nurture. The creation of visual interest was also a major priority, while keeping artwork as the focal point.”

About James Khamsi and FIRM a.d. 

 James Khamsi (RA, AIA) is principal of FIRM a.d., an emerging New York City-based practice founded in 2010. The firm specializes in public and cultural spaces and is known for its innovative use of structure, patterns, and materials. 

Khamsi has practiced in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom and recently completed work on the SFC Bridge in Toronto, a product of an ongoing collaboration with artists Jennifer Marman and Daniel Borins. 

Khamsi has worked with leading architects, most notably with Farshid Moussavi and Foreign Office Architects in London, UK. He has delivered projects across a range of scales - from urban master plans and public infrastructure to private interiors and furniture pieces. Khamsi has extensive experience designing for the arts, including galleries and museums, and with artists. His work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, New York and has been published in Actar’s Verb series, Volume, MONU, Scapegoat and Interior Design magazine. He is the editor of “Huburbs: Transit and Urbanism in the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area,” published 2012 by the University of Toronto. 

Khamsi is currently Adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia University and previously held positions at Cornell University, the University of Toronto, and Harvard. 

About Art Toronto 

Founded in 2000, Art Toronto is Canada’s international fair for modern and art. Providing unique access to the Canadian art market, the fair is one of the most important annual art events in Canada. Now in its 16th year, Art Toronto presents important artwork from leading Canadian and international galleries as well as a program of lectures and panel discussions from prominent art world figures, curated projects, an extensive VIP Program, and top-tier cultural offerings throughout the city.