shigeru ban: aspen art museum proposal
original content
aug 25, 2010
shigeru ban: aspen art museum proposal

the new aspen art museum by shigeru ban
image courtesy aspen art museum



plans have been been approved for the new aspen art museum by shigeru ban architects, which will be his first US museum to be constructed
and will offer 12,500 square feet of exhibition space, including multiple galleries; an exterior roof-deck sculpture garden;
education classroom; bookstore and museum shop; café / restaurant; administration and staff space; and an art storage / preparation space.


the use of wood and glass elements within the design will provide a transparent structure that responds to and highlights aspen’s changing
picturesque seasonal landscape. the new design will allow pedestrians and potential museum-goers the chance to experience art and AAM exhibitions
before entering the building itself, simultaneously enjoying the AAM’s offerings of fine art and scenic surroundings. the museum’s uniquely inverted,
‘upside-down’ layout will present an upper level of the commercial aspects, complete with a public lobby, café, bookshop, and an outdoor,
roof-deck sculpture area. it can be accessed by the public through a ten-foot wide external staircase which is shielded from the elements
by a transparent screen composed of wooden ‘bricks.’ visitors will also be able to alternately access the upper level of the new facility by way of a large
hydraulic elevator designed to mirror the manner in which aspen’s skiing visitors interact with the towns surrounding ski mountains.
the upper gallery of the new facility will benefit from exquisite natural light as the floor of the roof-deck and top floor will each be made of glass.
from the rooftop, visitors will enjoy spectacular views of aspen’s surrounding mountains.



interior views of the café and galleries



shigeru ban states:
‘in any design I always strive for a unified relationship between the structure and its surroundings. the design forthe new aspen art museum
is a very exciting opportunity to create a harmony between aspen’s existing architecture and the surrounding
beauty of the natural landscape.
to do this, I have conceived of a ‘wood brick’ screen on the museum’s exterior surface, which is
a contemporary reinterpretation designed
to be in harmony with the historic palette present in aspen, and also invites engagement
between artwork, the public, and the space itself.’





project info:

total square footage: 30,000
square footage below grade: 10,000
square footage above grade: 20,000

three-story building above grade:
main level & second story: exhibition, education, administration, art storage/art preparation spaces
third story: lobby/roof deck sculpture garden/cafe/museum shop
12,500 square feet of exhibition space
public exterior roof deck sculpture garden

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shigeru ban (74 articles)

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