If you ever find yourself in Toronto, take the time to go visit the Aga Khan Museum! Designed by Maki and Associates and Moriyama & Teshima Architects, the museum is a gorgeous site with a beautiful garden and the nearby Ismaili Centre.
The museum is definitely one of our favorite locations in Toronto, with its minimalist architecture and beautiful interiors. We recommend doing the architecture tour (Tuesday to Sunday at 12:30 pm), as it gets you access to parts of the museum not otherwise open to the public.
Let’s start with the interiors and the public areas. The exhibit areas have some interesting skylights:
There are details to shoot all around the museum, including these reflections on the staircase.
The whole museum is designed with geometry and patterns, so it’s easy to find something to photograph.
The open atrium in the middle of the museum is a great spot. It has some interesting reflections, including a view back to the outside and the Ismaili Centre (the pyramid-shaped building).
Now, the architecture tour. It’s well worth the extra money, but be quick to shoot, as the tour guide will not wait for you! One of the first spaces is that lounge with a wonderful skylight with drapes.
The next stop is the spiral staircase and its angular geometry. It’s worth shooting from the bottom…
… and from the top. Use the glass railing for reflections to get some interesting shots. Images work both in color and black and white here.
And finally, the main space, the auditorium. You can spend a bit of time there, but there’s a lot to shoot! The ceiling is particularly great to shoot, both wide and for detail shots.
Let’s move to the outside. There’s a large canopy over the entrance, which is great to frame the gardens and the Ismaili Centre.
The minimalist, white structure is great with harsh light, as it creates great shadows to play with.
There are even some opportunities to include people in your shots:
Finally, use the infinity pools (there are several of them) to play with reflections!
The Aga Khan Museum is such a great location! It’s worth visiting for the museum and gardens, but it’s also great for photography!