Staten Island Museum at Snug Harbor 1000 Richmond Terrace, Snug Harbor Campus, Building A Staten Island Gluckman Tang Architects The recently reopened Staten Island Museum at Snug Harbor, housed in a former dormitory for aged and decrepit sailors, has a renewed vitality in a historic setting. “When restoring historic buildings, make interventions as quietly as you can,” Richard Gluckman told Archtober enthusiasts gathered at the museum today. The neoclassical building, originally designed by Richard Smyth in 1879 and landmarked in 1965, is part of a complex of historic buildings occupying the bucolic 83-acre Snug Harbor area of Staten Island. Gluckman Tang Architects was responsible for breathing new life into the building to better showcase the museum’s diverse collection spanning the arts, natural history, and local history objects. Over the past ten years, Gluckman Tang has been responsible for undoing previous—and precarious—restorations of the building, redoing the shell, restoring original elements, including the staircase and windows, and adding contemporary interventions to bring the building up to American Museum Association and LEED standards. The museum building serves as an important link between the local history and the museum’s mission. Gluckman Tang introduced geothermal well fields, paying tribute to the Staten Island Museum’s conservationist history. The auditorium and education space has linoleum floors, a functional choice by the architects, but also a reference to Staten Island’s Linoleumville, the location of first linoleum factory in the United States. Gluckman and his colleague James Young-Sik Lim discussed the “congenial relationship” between the historic and the contemporary that they nurtured during the renovation process. Visitors feel elements of the historic structure underfoot—the wood floors were repurposed from the building’s original pine beams. Gluckman also emphasized the importance of maintaining a sense of the historical usage of the building. He pointed to a compass rose inlaid in the wood floors—a contemporary interpretation of a historic detail that serves as a nod to the nautical history of the space, and as a centralized orientation point for visitors. Upstairs in the Treasure Box Gallery, the museum’s eclectic collection is displayed in a room flooded with natural light. The architects focused on flexibility within the exhibition spaces, a crucial aspect of the redesign, given the museum’s mission as a general interest cultural institution covering art, science, and history. The tour ended in the Mastodon Room, housing a life-sized replica of the now-extinct mammal. The mastodon (for which the museum is currently in the process of naming) serves as an elegant metaphor for the museum’s mission and Gluckman Tang’s renovation—history comes alive here, whether in the form of a giant-tusked creature or a beautifully restored cast-iron neoclassical staircase. Next up, Archtober-ites will venture to the Goethe-Institute. Alex Tell is the Committee's Coordinator for the AIANY | Center for Architecture.
Posts tagged with "Gluckman Mayner Architects":
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum 2 East 91st Street, Manhattan Babb, Cook & Willard (1902) Gluckman Mayner Architects with Beyer Blinder Belle (2014) Part a historic house tour and part a lesson on material culture and curatorial practices, today’s Archtober lunchtime session packed a ton of information into 60 minutes. Brooke Hodge, deputy director of the Cooper Hewitt, National Design Museum, showed us around one of the finest mansions of Manhattan. Designed by Babb, Cook & Willard in 1902, the Carnegie Mansion’s most recent renovations were completed just last year. Executive architect Beyer Blinder Belle developed the master plan, while Gluckman Tang Architects (formerly Gluckman Mayner Architects, the firm responsible for the Staten Island Museum at Snug Harbor that we’ll be touring on Thursday) oversaw the historic preservation aspects of the project. Diller Scofidio + Renfro worked closely with the museum’s curators to develop the display cases and exhibition design. The firm also oversaw the plan of the garden, which, once complete, will open at 8:00a.m. to welcome visitors onto the property even beyond hours of admission. Our dear friends at Pentagram worked on the graphic identity together with the typographer Chester Jenkins, who developed an open-source typeface called the Cooper Hewitt. This initiative was yet another way to make the museum more inviting to the public, and to encourage people to feel connected with design. The renovation added 7,000 square feet of exhibition space to the mansion without expanding the building’s envelope. Offices and the library were relocated to adjacent townhouses, and part of the collection was moved to offsite storage. Other smaller pockets of space were carved out: a former powder room is called the “Teaspoon Gallery,” a play on its location next to the Spoon Gallery, which was named after a donor family. Visitors are encouraged to grab a Pen (note the capital “P” since we still never take ink into exhibitions) at the admissions desk and keep track of their favorite objects. These electronic styluses turn visitors into collectors, and encourage creative moments of exploration. One gallery features a projection screen that covers two walls, reproducing visitor-drawn forms as wallpaper. The digital transformation of these designs into large-scale patterns help visitors connect with the objects on display. Fragments of wallpaper that might otherwise be interpreted as whole objects unto themselves can now be understood as part of repeating patterns that set the tones of entire rooms. Julia Cohen is the Archtober Coordinator at the Center for Architecture.
Ten years in the making, the renovation of one of Staten Island's oldest buildings—part of the Staten Island Museum expansion—is finally complete. Well, almost. Stepping into the refurbished Cultural Center building just off of Staten Island's seafront, the smell of fresh paint still hangs lightly in the air as designers and the team behind the project apply the final touches to Gluckman Tang Architects' (formerly Gluckman Mayner) design. Originally used by sailors, the 1879 landmarked 'Building A' at Snug Harbor follows the Greek Revival style of the adjacent structures. So far, it has taken ten years from proposal to opening, and four years to construct, at a cost of $24.4 million. Speaking to AN, James Young-Suk Lim, of New York–based Gluckman Tang, told of the difficulties they had in creating "acceptable climate conditions" for the galleries. "The project was unique as we had to keep so much due to the building's status as a national landmark," he said. The building was actually one of the first to be given landmark status by New York's Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC). Despite gutting the 18,000-square-foot building, opening it up for gallery use, Gluckman Tang appropriately employed a subtle design approach to the interior. During this process, load-bearing walls were replaced by structural columns, creating an open feel and giving visitors more space to explore. Much of the inside is white meanwhile fire-proof doors use frame fitting glass panes. The technique visually invites people into the galleries and continues to open up circulation spaces that would otherwise be empty voids. This minimalist approach also gave the museum and exhibition designers greater freedom and flexibility to adapt the space. In this instance, the exhibition design by Ralph Appelbaum Associates (also from New York) employs a similar minimalist glass strategy and complements the work by Gluckman Tang. Walls have been painted pastel green, creating an air of calmness and tranquility, with the subtle color change acting as a visual threshold between the gallery and circulation spaces. Keeping the temperature at 70 degrees and at 50 percent relative humidity (a museum requirement) was always going to be a tough task given the mandate to maintain certain historical elements of the building, notably the 19th century windows and window frames. Consequently, a new building envelope was created inside the existing structure. The architects installed floor-to-ceiling windows with Low E soft coatings that were recessed from the original bays. The windows act as a "vapor barrier," yet allow users to still view old windows. Translucent pull down blinds shade the art from damaging sunlight, while soft interior lighting modules placed along rails in the ceiling enhance the display. This feature allows the circulatory spaces that are not bound by daylight regulations to become brighter, amplifying the threshold existing between the spaces. In addition to this, the building is also a LEED Gold project. Some 18 geothermal energy piles were drilled 499 feet (500 feet requires mining permission) to provide energy to the building, of which the majority will be used for climate control. The latest addition to the Staten Island Museum will feature a diverse range of cultural and historical artifacts ranging from fish fossils to art from the island. The inaugural exhibitions will be open to the public on Saturday, September 19 at 10:00a.m.
The beautiful rolling landscape of Northwestern Massachusetts has been the home to important academic institutions for over 100 years. But in the past thirty years it has also become the home of major art museums, including Williams College Museum of Art, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA), and, just down the road, the Clark Art Institute. Now the Berkshire Eagle newspaper and local magazine iberkshires.com are reporting that another important art museum may be located in the region. Thomas Krens—the man behind MASS MoCA—is proposing the creation of 160,000 square foot art gallery on the grounds of the local airport. The Eagle reported that Krens proposed the new museum would “be privately owned by a for-profit group of investors and cost an estimated $10 million to $15 million." It would be called the Global Contemporary Collection & Museum and have a collection of about 400 works of art. The museum is only in the early planning stages, but Krens claimed to have been working on its formation for many years. He originally proposed the idea for a site in China. Now, the idea has approval from the airport commission to enter into negotiations with Krens to study its feasibility. The paper also reported that Richard Gluckman of Gluckman Mayner Architects has done the early schematic drawings for the project. The museum would be located in an industrial area, next to the local Stop & Shop and adjacent to the airport runway. Krens was quoted in iberkshires.com saying that the concept for the museum is for it to be “super sophisticated, super inexpensive but elegant industrial architecture, something Richard Gluckman specializes in.” If the project comes to fruition, it will join MASS MoCA’s elegant 1995 Bruner/Cott Architects factory renovation and a 2014 Tadao Ando (with Selldorf Architects) addition at the Clark as important architectural projects in the area.
After a three year absence, the Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum is set to reopen on December 12. The nation's design museum has been active in the interim, staging off site exhibitions, hosting workshops and classes, and bestowing honors to the nation's best designers, but its full return to New York's cultural landscape is much anticipated. A large group of top tier designers has contributed to the museum's renovation, expansion, and rethinking of how it displays the objects and processes of design, including Gluckman Mayner Architects, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Pentagram, Beyer Blinder Belle, Local Projects, and Thinc Design. The museum reorganized staff areas and moved offices into adjacent townhouses to create new galleries in the landmark Carnegie mansion's third floor, among many other alterations. Here is a sneak peak of some of the reinstalled galleries. Welcome back, Cooper-Hewitt!
Design studio Diller Scofidio+Renfro (DS+R) has certainly had a very good week. As we noted yesterday, the firm’s designs for the Columbia University Medical and Graduate Education Building in Washington Heights have just been released, and now today, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum has announced that DS+R will be working with museum staff on the redesign of the museum’s exhibition spaces that are currently under renovation on Manhattan's Upper East Side. The Cooper-Hewitt closed last July for an extensive, two-year face lift and is currently undergoing an extensive reprogramming that will increase the amount of exhibition space by 60 percent and rearrange the institution's functional divisions. Gluckman Mayner Architects, with executive architects Beyer Blinder Belle are responsible for the restoration and renovation of the institution's historic Andrew Carnegie Mansion and two adjoining row houses on 90th Street and Fifth Avenue. While the buildings are reprogrammed and historic features preserved, DS+R will be responsible for designing the new exhibitions contained in those spaces. Along with media designer Local Projects, DS+R is responsible for the visitor’s experience in both the permanent exhibition rooms on the first floor and the temporary exhibition spaces on the second and third floors. At this point in the process, neither the collaboration between Local Projects, DS+R, and the Cooper-Hewitt, nor the scope of the final product, has been decided. Stay tuned to AN for updates on the new exhibition spaces as they emerge.