thomas phifer extends new york's corning museum of glass
thomas phifer extends new york's corning museum of glass thomas phifer extends new york's corning museum of glass
mar 19, 2015

thomas phifer extends new york's corning museum of glass

thomas phifer extends new york’s corning museum of glass
image © iwan baan
all images courtesy of the corning museum of glass




at the corning museum of glass in new york, a recently completed wing expansion provides 100,000 square feet of additional space, including spacious galleries for the company’s collection of contemporary glass works. designed by thomas phifer and partners, the complex also contains one of the world’s largest facilities for glassblowing demonstrations and live design sessions. the gallery building features skylighting throughout, with a sophisticated light-filtering system integrated within the structural roof beams.

the project features outdoor gathering areas for the public
image © iwan baan




inside, the works of art are displayed largely independent of the curvilinear plaster walls, encouraging circulation and allowing the contemplation of larger works. the gallery experience is punctuated by a 150 foot-long window that provides views towards and adjacent area of greenery and reorients the visitor to the larger landscape.

simple glass surfaces frame the works inside like a vitrine
image © iwan baan




the structure’s clean white glass façade is juxtaposed with the black exterior of the restored ventilator building. the simple glass surfaces are white and almost devoid of detail, framing the works inside like a vitrine. because the external glass is lightly frosted, both from the inside and the outside, the layer is a surface, not a transparency.

the works of art are displayed largely independent of the curvilinear plaster walls
image © iwan baan




the architects sought to reveal the beauty of glass, beginning with the outside layer of the building as it both reflects the light and absorbs nature. in this way, the building is a distilled container for glass and light; a place that serves the art. the project features outdoor gathering areas for the public, including a one-acre campus green that provides views into the gallery and glassmaking spaces.

the gallery features skylighting throughout
image © iwan baan




one of our most important decisions was to create a central green space – a museum green‘, explains architect thomas phifer. ‘we conceived the new contemporary art + design wing as a ‘building on the green’ – a structure that operates both as an organizing element and is also emblematic of its contemporary contents.’


the new campus green is bordered by the 1951 harrison & abramowitz corning offices, the 2001 smith-miller hawkinson façade, and the new north wing expansion. the project also includes the renovation of the iconic ventilator building of the former steuben glass factory adjacent to the museum’s current building – a revamp that provides seating for 500 people, offering 360-degree views of glassmaking in a new state-of-the-art glass studio.

a sophisticated light-filtering system is integrated within the structural roof beams
image © iwan baan

circulation routes are kept clear thoughout
image © iwan baan

the expansion provides over 100,000 square feet of additional space
image © iwan baan

windows provide views to the campus green and reorient the visitor towards the larger landscape
image © iwan baan

the galleries will contain corning’s large collection of glass works
image © iwan baan

the sweeping forms of the buildings internal walls
image © iwan baan

looking upwards at the skylights, which illuminate the galleries
image © iwan baan



project info:


location: corning, new york
date: 2015
client: corning museum of glass
size: 100,000 sqf


project team
thomas phifer (FAIA, director), gabriel smith (FAIA LEED AP, director), adam ruffin (associate director), katie bennett (associate director), remon alberts, bethany mahre, brad cooke, mo gagnon, gerry gendreau, eric ho, isaiah king, brad kingsley, joanna luo, stephen varady, colin ward


architect: thomas phifer and partners
structural engineer: guy nordenson and associates
MEP and fire protection engineer: altieri sebor wieber
landscape architect: reed hilderbrand
façade consultant: heintges
daylighting and lighting design: arup
climate engineer: transsolar
civil engineer and LEED consultant: o’brien & gere
waterproofing consultant: simpson gumpertz & heger
environmental graphics: 2×4
cost consultant: stuart-lynn company
spec writer: construction specifications
acoustics and audio video design: jaffe holden
theater design: theatre projects
construction management: gilbane + welliver



designboom has received this project through its ‘DIY submissions’ feature, which welcomes readers to submit their own work for publication. see more designboom readers submissions here.

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