Posts tagged with "Art Museums":

Placeholder Alt Text

Michael Maltzan Architecture’s billowy Inuit Art Centre set to open this fall

Winnipeg, the capital and largest city of the Canadian province of Manitoba, has an outspoken indigenous culture that represents over 12 percent of its population. To reflect that heritage, the city broke ground in the spring of 2018 on the Inuit Art Centre (IAC), a 40,000-square-foot addition to the Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG) that, when completed, will become the largest exhibition gallery in Canada devoted to indigenous art. Designed by Los Angeles-based firm Michael Maltzan Architecture, in collaboration with local Associate Architect Cibinel Architects Ltd., the IAC connects to the southern edge of the original museum building designed by Gustavo da Roza in 1971 and will also provide a lecture theatre, research areas, a visible art storage vault, and additional facilities for an expanded studio art and educational program for the local community. An expansive, light-filled gallery on the top floor will house over 13,000 Inuit carvings, textile prints, and other artworks provided by WAG and the Government of Nunavut. The design centers on the Inuit Vault, a double-height storage area visible from the outside with a shelving system that parallels the curvature of the envelope. The interior will be accessible to curators and scholars to offer an even more intimate relationship with the museum’s impressive collection. Stephen Borys, the Director of WAG, hopes that the addition will inspire the local community to engage with the country’s rich cultural heritage. “We’ll be able to connect a classroom in Winnipeg to a classroom in Rankin [Inlet] or Iqaluit,” Borys told CBC. Prior to designing the addition, Michael Maltzan joined WAG Director Stephen Borys on a trip to the north Canadian province of Nunavut to learn more about Inuit communities and the unique landscaping that serve as their background. According to a press statement, the resultant design “draws on the ephemeral qualities of northern environments that celebrate historic and contemporary Inuit art and culture.” The all-glass ground level appears to effortlessly support the sculptural walls of the upper floors, which were designed to subtly reflect the Nunavut landscape and feature organically-shaped skylights that will suffuse light throughout the columnless gallery space. The Inuit Art Centre is currently under construction and is expected to be open to the public in the fall.

10 Top Museums You Can Explore Right Here, Right Now

Google Arts and Culture has partnered with over 500 museums and cultural institutions globally to allow visitors to peruse their collections virtually. Travel from New York City to Paris to Seoul and back in just a few clicks. The top 10 museums to tour include the Guggenheim Museum, New York; the British Museum, London; Musée d'Orsay, Paris; the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul; the Pergamon Museum, Berlin; the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; the Getty Museum, Los Angeles; the Uffizi Gallery, Florence; MASP, São Paulo; and the National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City.
Placeholder Alt Text

Google Arts & Culture compiles over 500 virtual tours of museums around the world

In an effort to reduce the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus, nearly all of the world’s public institutions have announced that they will close their doors to the public until further notice. Art museums have been hit particularly hard by the sudden news, as it was announced earlier this week that the majority of New York City’s cultural hubs—including the Guggenheim, The Met, MoMA, and The Whitney Museum of American Art—have all abruptly paused operations despite many of them having new exhibitions that have taken months to prepare. As of now, the situation is no different in nearly every other major city around the world. Virtual museum exploration, a safe alternative to physical attendance, has therefore taken on new significance in light of the first post-internet pandemic. Google Arts & Culture, the online platform dedicated to providing public access to the collections of some of the world’s most preeminent art museums, developed by Google, has partnered with over 500 global art institutions to open their virtual doors to the public. With the ability to go between the National Folk Museum of Korea in Seoul to the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles in a matter of seconds, one can ‘travel’ the world to walk through world-famous destinations in a manner never before possible in human history using the same technology developed for the equally impressive Street View feature in Google Maps. While several museums on the website do not yet offer a virtual tour, they provide the next best thing through high-resolution images of their most exemplary artwork. In some cases, the move to virtual reality has even improved upon the average viewing experience with creative storytelling and behind-the-scenes access. The latest video produced by Google Arts & Culture, for instance, provides a narrated, 360-degree tour of the Chauvet Cave, a natural formation in the south of France filled with humanity’s earliest discovered artworks. By providing an extensively virtual tour of the fragile cave, reserved only for archaeologists and other related professionals, the video 'digitally preserves what would otherwise be reserved only for textbooks. “Together,” the video description reads, “we bridge 36.000 years of human history by joining state of the art technology and some of the oldest cave paintings left behind by our ancestors.” As museums and other physical spaces consider strategies for dealing with their newly quarantined audiences, their virtual second lives have the ability to pick up where their physical counterparts left off.
Placeholder Alt Text

San Diego’s Mingei International Museum undergoes a sweeping renovation

The Mingei International Museum, a nonprofit public institution that collects, conserves and exhibits folk art, craft, and design objects in San Diego’s acclaimed Balboa Park, is one of the city’s most beloved cultural attractions. Founded in 1978, Mingei is housed in the House of Charm, a Mission Revival-style building originally built as a temporary exhibition space for the Panama-California Exposition in 1915. During the building’s centennial, a $37 million campaign began to renovate the structure while reimagining its relationship to the local community and its park surroundings. The monumental task was given to local architecture firm LUCE et studio, which imagined a sweeping transformation of everything on the site save for its iconic facade. Given the building’s placement between two park grounds—the Alcazar Garden on the west, and the Plaza de Panama to the east—LUCE et studio decided to treat the ground floor as a columnless, free-of-charge public exhibition hall that doubles as a breezeway between the two public spaces. A former loading dock on the site will become the site of a courtyard space above a small, partially sunken auditorium that can open and close to the outdoors, while a staircase and skylight are being added to the building’s previously underutilized bell tower. The top floor will be dedicated to gallery spaces, a board room designed to house the museum’s original George Nakashima-designed table at its center, and wrap-around terraces along the Plaza de Panama-facing facades that archival photos suggest once existed atop the building. The firm also saw the renovation as an opportunity to install permanent examples of contemporary handicraft. The studio commissioned Claudy Jongstra, for example, to create a large-scale mural made with wool from the Dutch textile artist’s herd of sheep for the ground floor, as well as a curtain from Dutch designer Petra Blaisse in the auditorium space, and a glass sculpture by American artist Dale Chihuly to hang in the bell tower. The Mingei is currently scheduled to (re)open to the public in May 2021, though visitors to last weekend’s Open House San Diego were given a rare opportunity to take a hard hat tour through the long-awaited museum.
Placeholder Alt Text

Barcelona city council rejects Toyo Ito-designed Hermitage Museum

The Hermitage Museum, the 256-year-old art museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, that is now the second-largest in the world, has developed several European outposts in the 21st century, including those in Amsterdam, Vilnius, and Ferrara, Italy. Barcelona, Spain, was slated to become the latest outpost when the Hermitage and the Catalan government signed a letter of intent with the expectation of a 2015 opening date. When that failed to pass, a 2018 opening was agreed upon and later abandoned. Two years later, Barcelona’s city council gas refused to greenlight the third planning application rather than move the goalpost even further down the field. The council rendered a verdict on January 27 after its members expressed concern over a few of the plan’s major elements. The council was initially displeased with the proposed site in the narrow peninsula of Nova Bocana, and raised concerns over the project’s economic viability, especially given the ambiguous sources of private funding and offering of museological materials. The council also felt lukewarm about the offer given that, in the last few years, the city has become overrun with tourists and “has become a tourist theme park,” according to The Guardian. Though the city council members ultimately lost interest in the deal, members of the Hermitage Museum commissioned Japanese architect Toyo Ito to design a four-story, 170,000-square-foot space for the port of Barcelona to help sell their vision. Having already designed a 41-unit apartment building in the city in 2009, Ito had become inspired to further contribute to Barcelona’s architectural heritage with a billowing, all-white structure overlooking the sea. After the recent shakeup, Madrid’s city council has reportedly expressed interest in hosting the museum if Barcelona officially passes on the project, though it is unclear whether Ito would remain the museum’s architect following a relocation. The council told Catalan News that the suitability of a Hermitage outpost in Madrid will be considered over the next few weeks and a decision will be made public soon.
Placeholder Alt Text

LMN Architects reveals newly renovated Seattle Asian Art Museum

Seattle-based firm LMN Architects has just completed its renovation and expansion of the Seattle Asian Art Museum (SAAM) in Volunteer Park, which will reopen to the public on February 8. A major element of the two-year, $56-million project was the renovation of the original museum, a palatial Art Deco building designed by Bebb and Gould in 1933. The building's ornate walls, floors, and ceiling elements were renovated to meet code requirements, and the climate control and seismic systems were also updated. Overhead lightboxes that emulate natural daylighting were embedded into the ceilings of the main gallery spaces. The museum’s central component, the Fuller Garden Court, has been renovated to its original condition to connect to a new lobby space. The building’s program spaces have been vertically connected by a glassy new lobby that provides unobstructed views of the surrounding park. A new, 2,648-square-foot gallery has been attached to the northeast facade of the original building on the opposite side of the main visitor entrance, adding significantly more space for its permanent collection and special exhibitions. The addition contrasts the original building’s opulent aesthetic with continuous floor-to-ceiling windows for maximum daylight exposure. “To work on a historic building like this is a real privilege and honor,” said Sam Miller, partner-in-charge at LMN Architects. “Working with SAAM was a great fit, because our focus is also about creating great social experiences and connecting to community. We hope the addition adds significance to the original historic building, and we are very excited for everyone to visit the museum and experience the renovation and addition for themselves.” The museum's architectural upgrade gave rise to an opportunity for its curators to reimagine the organization of its vast collection of Asian artifacts. “The newly renovated and expanded Asian Art Museum breaks boundaries to offer a thematic, rather than geographic or chronological, exploration of art from the world’s largest continent,” the museum announced on its website. This method of curation will take place across both the original and recently-added gallery spaces. A free weekend-long community celebration will take place on February 8 to inaugurate the reopening of the Seattle Asian Art Museum.
Placeholder Alt Text

LACMA redesign could be undermined by local nonprofit

It should come as little surprise that Peter Zumthor's proposed design for the new Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is continuing to inspire debate. The decision to replace the museum's original, 54-year-old buildings with an amorphous blob (containing 10,000 square feet less gallery space than its predecessors) has been widely criticized by critics and the public alike. Save LACMA, a local 501(c)3 nonprofit organization established this year, is doing everything within its power to undermine the approval the project has received from the Los Angeles City Council. “If completed,” the group explained, “it will turn our beloved County Museum of Art into a shadow of its former self, a physically smaller institution burdened by a heavy debt load.” This month, Save LACMA board chair Rob Hollman sent out an email stating that the nonprofit has updated plans of its own. “We are very happy to announce,” it reads, “that Save LACMA has retained the services of Bradley Hertz and the Sutton Law Firm to help guide us through our efforts to ensure that our LACMA—a public institution on public land with a priceless collection of publicly-owned artwork—will remain accountable to the community.” Both Hertz and Sutton specialize in nonprofits involved in political and legislative processes on the local and state levels, and the two seem particularly suited to the mission of Save LACMA as the group claims its goal reflects the interests of Los Angeles residents. The members of Save LACMA are now considering Hertz's suggestion of placing a measure onto the next Los Angeles County ballot that would give the community “A real chance to have a say in its future when they cast their vote.” The nonprofit is currently seeking donations to pay for associated legal fees while continuing its goal of ensuring the community's collective voice is heard throughout the museum campus's renovation process. While the details of the potential ballot initiative are still being determined, time to alter the project's future is running out. Demolition of the original buildings is set to begin early next year, and its developers anticipate that Zumthor's new design will be complete by 2023.
Placeholder Alt Text

Budapest’s mayor halts construction of SANAA-designed New National Gallery

Budapest’s new mayor, Gergely Karácsony, has moved to block the construction of Hungary’s New National Gallery, due to the SANAA-designed building’s supposed “enormous impact on its environment.” Elected in October on a green platform, the Mayor has expressed his concerns over the building being built on “one of Budapest’s few and very precious green areas,” and construction has since stalled on the $277 million project.  On November 5, Budapest’s General Assembly backed Karácsony’s proposal to halt the centerpiece of the Liget Budapest Project, which is said to be Europe’s “largest and most ambitious urban cultural development.” Construction on the House of Hungarian Innovation, a new $110 million science museum, has also been suspended. The entire project was slated to be fully completed by 2023 and included a Museum of Ethnography, House of Hungarian Music, and an expanded zoo. The National Museum Restoration and Storage Centre opened to the public earlier this year.  While many residents shared the Mayor’s concerns about the environmental impact, project organizers have defended the construction. “The new buildings are not being constructed on green areas but are instead replacing parking spaces and long-outdated buildings planned to be demolished,” László Baán, director of Budapest’s Museum of Fine Arts, argued, according to The Art Newspaper. He has also stated that the green space in the park will actually increase by five percent.  The New National Gallery was due to begin construction in early 2020 with the goal of closing the Hungarian National Gallery in Buda Castle and dividing the collection between the Museum of Fine Arts and the New National Gallery.  Because the project is being funded by the central government, negotiations with the mayor will continue, and he has even suggested alternative sites in Budapest where he believes construction will not damage the environment.
Placeholder Alt Text

Olson Kundig's Jordan Schnitzer Museum reflects its surroundings with red mirrored glass

Brought to you with support from
With a permanent art collection of approximately 3,500 pieces hailing from the 20th and 21st centuries, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at Washington State University is arguably the most prestigious curatorial institution in Pullman, Washington, and joins a string of art museums founded by the Schnitzer family across the Pacific Northwest. The project opened in 2018 and was designed by Seattle's Olson Kundig, who stamped their presence within the campus with a bold crimson facade of mirrored glass panels. The museum consists of two volumes encompassing a total of 16,000-square-feet. Visitors arrive through an entry built of glass-and-metal casement windows that can be opened in a similar fashion to a garage door. The primary glass volume houses the museum's gallery spaces and is lifted off the ground by an arcade of pilotis and, in some respects, resembles a hovering cube. "A key design challenge was balancing the museum's dual needs for transparency and security," said Olson Kundig design principal Jim Olson. "The answer is a design that consists of two distinct parts: The first serves as an informal entry to the museum and the second space, the "crimson cube," is a climate-controlled space that houses the formal galleries and is enveloped by the crimson facade."
  • Facade Manufacturer Hunter Douglas Steinfort Glas Vanceva
  • Architect Olson Kundig
  • Facade Installer Hoffman Construction
  • Facade Consultant Front
  • Location Pullman, WA
  • Date of Completion 2018
  • System Hunter Douglas rainscreen
  • Products Steinfort mirrored glass Vanceva OECE Interlayer
Steinfort Glas, a manufacturer based in the Netherlands, produced the mirrored glass facade panels in three different dimensions which function as a relatively conventional rainscreen. The facade's composition achieves a patterned effect through alternating courses of square panels, measuring 3'-4" by 3'-6", and rectangular panels, measuring 3'-4" by 1'-8". The horizontality of each elevation is broken up by steps of larger square panels that are roughly double in size at 6'-6" by 7'-0". "I wanted the museum to have a highly reflective facade as a means of weaving it into its context," continued Olson. "While appearing rather solid and uniform from afar, the reflective crimson cube rewards viewers upon closer inspection, much like the artworks housed within." The effect is achieved through the placement of colored interlayer glass between the mirrored glass panels. The installation of the rainscreen was fairly straightforward and was handled by Hoffman Construction Company, a contracting firm based in the Pacific Northwest. A mounting clip adheres to the back of each individual glass panel, which is subsequently attached to an aluminum rainscreen system produced by Hunter Douglas. The rainscreen system allowed for minor adjustments on site via screws set through the panel joints. Olson Kundig principal Blair Payson will be co-instructing the workshop "Glass Design and Avoiding Catastrophic Failures: Design Choices, Practical Solutions, and Complex Engineering," at Facades+ Seattle on December 6.
Placeholder Alt Text

Centre Pompidou expands into Shanghai with Chipperfield-designed West Bund Museum

With the multi-billion dollar Chinese art market now ranked as the third-largest internationally, and with the growing interest in exhibiting Chinese artists in the West, the opening of the Centre Pompidou’s new Shanghai partnership is no surprise. The Centre Pompidou x West Bund Museum Project is the keystone of the urban revitalization plan to turn an industrial strip on the Huangpu River into a cultural hub. The West Bund Museum, designed by David Chipperfield Architects, opened to the public on November 8 and was inaugurated earlier last week with a visit by French President Emmanuel Macron. The museum will house 27,000 square feet of exhibition space, a cafe, bookstore, art studio, and educational spaces. Sitting on a brand new riverside park, the West Bund Museum invites the public in through its towering double-story lobby. "The public facilities all contribute to the idea that modern museums are more than just a destination for viewing art," said Libin Chen, a partner at David Chipperfield Architects' Shanghai office. “When we designed the building it wasn’t for the Centre Pompidou,” said David Chipperfield in an interview with The Art Newspaper. It was for ‘a museum.’ When we asked, ‘what will be in the museum?’, the answer was: “We don’t know yet. But we need three big multi-functional halls that can be used for anything—exhibitions, performances, parties. It was incredibly generic, which was a bit frustrating. We were playing tennis with ourselves—there was no one hitting the ball back. Architects always argue that they would like more freedom, but be careful, because sometimes freedom doesn’t help you.” The glass-clad building, while bearing no formal similarities to its parent museum in Paris, is intended to reflect a similar concern for openness and transparency. “In this case, the pedestrian route along the river is a surprisingly important infrastructural element, busy with joggers and walkers. That is something to respond to. So the building doesn’t have a back and a front,” said Chipperfield. The ground floor houses a river-facing cafe and bookstore that is open to the public.  This form of cultural exchange has already been well-established by other global museum expansions, such as the Louvre in Abu Dhabi. The Pompidou itself has also already crossed France’s border with the opening of the Centre Pompidou Málaga in 2015. The Shanghai partnership, which has a five-year timeline with the possibility for renewal afterward, has been self-described as "the highest-standard cultural exchange project of such long duration between China and France in the cultural field." The West Bund Museum's transparent design concept, however, doesn’t necessarily extend to the curation process. Though the parent French institution curates and provides artwork for its Shanghai outpost, it is still subject to Chinese censorship laws. According to the New York Times, less than five pieces of artwork were blocked from the exhibition by Chinese officials for “not only political” reasons. 
Placeholder Alt Text

Olson Kundig upgrades Seattle's Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture

The new Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture building opened its doors on Seattle’s University of Washington Campus on October 12, three years after the project was first announced. Designed by local architecture firm Olson Kundig using a $99 million budget, the 113,000-square-foot Burke Museum contains 66 percent more space for research, education, and storage, and features a series of airy exhibition spaces displaying a portion of its 16 million-object collection of fossils and Native American art, the majority of which was held in storage for much of the institution’s 130-year past. “We look forward to having a new building that serves as a gathering place for learning, research, and appreciation of cultures and the environment for generations to come,” said Burke Museum Executive Director Dr. Julie K. Stein. The new Burke was designed to reflect both the present conditions of the university and the Pacific Northwest character of the site, most notably with its distinctive Kebony-produced siding made of southern pine, a material that was once a common building material in the area. Additionally, a Pacific madrone tree that was once on the site was carefully removed to be later integrated back into the construction to minimize waste on the property. These and other gestures were initiated in keeping with the building’s goal of being accredited with LEED Gold certification. The building does, however, contain plenty of signature design gestures from the firm, including a large pivoting window wall in the museum’s expansive café. “We wanted to create a simple, beautiful, rational, and flexible building that will serve the Burke for hundreds of years,” said Tom Kundig, cofounder of Olson Kundig. “It is an inviting place not only for the public but also for the scientists, researchers, and curators of today and tomorrow.” While previous iterations of the museum were opaque and disjointed, the firm sought to make the institution’s new home transparent and united in its facilities. Labs and gallery spaces, for example, are separated by panes of glass to provide visitors with the opportunity to see roughly two-thirds of the items kept on storage shelves as well as “behind-the-scenes” paleontology. “I knew we had to do more than just build a bigger box with good air conditioning,” said Stein. “People’s reaction to going behind the scenes is magic. We had to do something to create that magic for everyone who comes to the Burke, not just the select few who get a behind-the-scenes tour.”
Placeholder Alt Text

Centre Pompidou to expand with satellite "art factory" in suburban Paris

The Centre Pompidou has announced plans to expand beyond its main campus in central Paris, opting for a new “art factory” space in Massy, Essonne, a southwest suburb. While no architect for the project has been named, the 22,000-square-meter facility is expected to open in 2025. In a statement obtained by The Art Newspaper, Centre Pompidou officials described the new space as “both a center of excellence for the conservation and restoration of the works in the collection, and a new cultural and creative venue deeply rooted in its territory.” It will also feature a 2,500-square-meter facility reserved for live performances, conferences, and screenings, all organized in partnership with various groups. Backed by the French state, among other investors, the art factory curators will collaborate regularly with scholars from the nearby University Paris-Saclay. The existing Centre Pompidou complex houses the Bibliothèque publique d'information (Public Information Library, the IRCAM (Institute for Research and Coordination in Acoustics and Music), and the Musée National d'Art Moderne, the largest modern art museum in Europe. One of the key elements of the expansion will be the movement of 120,000 works from the latter museum's collection to the new satellite. Reserve works will be partially accessible to visitors, allowing for a new and direct kind of interaction with the museum’s extensive collection. The announcement came as the Centre Pompidou continues to expand. Its David Chipperfield-designed outpost in Shanghai, called Centre Pompidou x West Bund Museum, is set to open next month. Another branch, designed by Shigeru Ban Architects, opened in Metz, France, in 2010. The original complex, in the Beaubourg area of central Paris, was completed in 1977. Designed by Renzo Piano, Richard Rodgers, and Gianfranco Franchini, the Centre Pompidou was revered by the 2007 Pritzker jury for “transforming what had once been elite monuments into popular places of social and cultural exchange, woven into the heart of the city.”