Projects // ROM

‘Narwhal’, says Pablo Neruda, "is the most beautiful of undersea names, the name of a sea chalice that sings, the name of a crystal spur." So why, he asks, has no one taken Narwhal for a last name, or built "a beautiful Narwhal Building?"

Sharing Neruda’s fascination with this creature, Harley Valentine designed a monumental Narwhal Pod to compliment the arctic-like Crystal at Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum.

The year 2014 marks the ROM’s 100th anniversary. To commemorate its centennial, a pod of mirror finish stainless steel narwhals with oversized bronze tusks are imagined breaking through an ice plinth at the museum's main entrance. The narwhals are rubbing their tusks together in an act called "tusking". Their metallic bodies appear animated in a reflective interplay with Daniel Liebskind’s aluminum and glass Crystal.

With its signature, spire-like ivory tusk pointed toward the sky, Canadians quickly identify the narwhal as a creature of our North. Yet it is an intriguing and elusive animal, more mysterious to us than the rings of Saturn says Neruda. The ROM pod serves as a calling card for the museum's world-class collection of Inuit and narwhal-related artifacts.

  • The Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Ontario , Canada
  • TBD
  • Mirrored Finish Stainless Steel, Bronze, Canadian Granite
  • 24’ x 48’ x 36’

Row 1 / ROM plaza render toward southwest, Matthew Morgan

Row 2/ Site overview, Google maps

Row 3 / ROM plaza render toward south, Matthew Morgan

Row 4 / ROM plaza render toward west, Matthew Morgan

Row 5 / ROM pod detail, Matthew Morgan

Row 6-7 / Schematic Drawings, Matthew Morgan