Posts tagged with "Museums":

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Explore parts of Sir John Soane’s Museum from the comfort of your computer

“Welcome to Explore Soane. The historic house, museum, and library of 19th-century architect Sir John Soane—now made digital. Get closer than ever before to its fascinating objects and see its eclectic rooms in a new light.” These words welcome viewers as they enter the new digital model of the Sir John Soane’s Museum, recently launched by ScanLAB Projects. Sir John Soane was a noted 19th-century British architect who passed away in 1837, leaving behind not simply a home, but a museum of architectural curiosities for posterity. Established by Private Act of Parliament in 1833, the house-museum has been kept just as Soane left it at the time of his death, continuing to offer free access to visitors as he had intended. Safeguarded by its Trustees, the museum hosts exhibitions, events, and a research library. The Sepulchral Chamber. (Via explore.soane.org) The Sepulchral Chamber. (Via explore.soane.org) The museum's digital model offers visitors the choice to begin their journey in the Model Room or the Sepulchral Chamber. The Model Room includes models of historical architectural sites such as Temple of Vesta (made from cork), Temple of Vesta (made from plaster) and a Model of Pompeii, showing the city in 1820. The replica of the room features individual, digitized models available for download. The interactive elements of the room also include fact sheets for models in Soane’s collection, which can be found upon clicking on each model. As viewers move on to The Sepulchral Chamber, they can find interactive models of an ancient Egyptian Sarcophagus King Seti I and Sarcophagus Detail. This portion of the journey also provides fact sheets and an about page for items in the chamber. ScanLab Projects is a creative studio that works to combine 3-D technologies and large scale scanning with the architectural and creative industries, creating digital replicas of buildings, landscapes, objects, and events. They offer 3-D printing, 3-D scanning, and visualization services to digitize the world in captivating ways. ScanLAB Projects also plans to add more rooms and works of art to the model.
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New details emerge on expansion and renovation of Seattle’s Asian Art Museum

On September 30, LMN Architects revealed renderings for a planned $49 million expansion and renovation to the Seattle Art Museum’s (SAM) Asian Art Museum, the first time in the 83-year-old institution’s history that its flagship art moderne structure will be renovated.

The building, located in the city’s verdant Volunteer Park, was designed by Carl F. Gould of the architectural firm Bebb and Gould to house SAM’s original art collection. After SAM’s principal collection was relocated in 1991 to a downtown Seattle flagship designed by Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates, the 1933 building was rechristened as the Asian Art Museum. That move left the original Bebb and Gould building languishing, a product of a bygone era when buildings relied heavily on natural ventilation as a means of climate control and the needs of only a small portion of potential building occupants were considered. As a result, the structure lacks the sophisticated temperature and climate control systems typical for a world-class art institution and is out of compliance with Americans with Disability Act (ADA) legislation.

LMN’s renovations aim to fix those discrepancies and more by rebooting the structure through the addition of a new wing along the existing eastern side containing a 2,650-square-foot gallery for Southeast Asian art, a community meeting room, and a set of new office spaces. The renovation will also add teaching spaces and possibly an Asian art conservation studio. Importantly, the extension will be clad in expanses of glass and aims to increase the connections between the museum’s interior and its park setting.

Regarding the complicated renovation plans for the structure, Sam Miller, lead architect for the project at LMN, said, “On the renovation side, our goal is to be true to the original intent of the building and to transform the [Bebb and Gould structure] into a fully functioning, 21st-century museum while also being entirely respectful of the historic fabric and the design quality the building represents.” He added, “In another way, our work is to make sure you would never know we were there.”

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Designs revealed for Coast Guard Museum in New London, Connecticut

Boston-based firm Payette has unveiled its design for the National Coast Guard Museum in New London, Connecticut. The proposal put forward sees four stories rise up along the water's edge next to the historic H.H. Richardson–designed Union Station. Initial proposals (for which there are no renderings available) had the museum located over the water. Instead, the building will rest on piles and feature a glass curtain wall that comprises the whole waterfront facade, facilitating views across the harbor. According to The Day, interactive exhibits would also be available as part of the building's frontage to establish a connection between the museum and shoreline area. Ideas for a "bridge simulator" and way of listening to dialogue between ferry captains over radio traffic were discussed at a meeting on Monday where the design was revealed. "These are design concepts that are likely to change dramatically over the course of the next year, year-and-half, two years as we design this building," said Principal at Payette, Charles Klee. Klee also said that much work had been done to ensure the Federal Emergency Management, the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, and the Army Corps of Engineers were happy with the plans. The museum is due to rest on a plot of land designated as a "100-year flood zone" (due to having a one percent chance of flooding every year). Most of the site is also located in an area where land is susceptible to high-velocity wave impact. Thanks to the historic and significant artifacts set to be housed in the building, the museum is reportedly working on ensuring that the approximately 80,000 square foot building inhabits a 500-year flood zone. The museum also faces funding issues. $9 million of the $100 million target has so far been raised with private funds.
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Selldorf Architects tapped for Frick Collection expansion

New York–based art-world veterans Selldorf Architects will helm The Frick Collection’s enhancement of its existing Upper East Side Manhattan home, the Henry Clay Frick House. Selldorf was selected from 20 candidates after an 18-month review period.

The Frick’s road to expansion has been rocky. In June 2015, in the face of strong criticism from architects and preservationists, the museum abandoned plans to replace a gated garden with an historicist six-story tower by Davis Brody Bond. That added to a string of failed expansions (in 2001, 2005, and 2008) but the museum vowed to increase its exhibition space.

According to the Frick representatives, this latest round will work within the building’s existing footprint. The upgrades include converting a set of second-floor rooms to galleries, creating a new special gallery on the main floor, improving circulation and accessibility for those with physical disabilities, and installing new facilities dedicated to educational programming and conservation.

For now, the expansion is in its earliest stages. The configuration of the second-floor galleries and the placement of the new facilities haven’t been decided but more details will be revealed during winter 2017–2018.

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Studio Gang to design Arkansas Art Center expansion

The Arkansas Arts Center (AAC) has announced Chicago-based Studio Gang Architects as the design architect for its next building project. Studio Gang was selected from a field of five finalists that included Allied Works, Shigeru Ban, Thomas Phifer, and Snohetta. “Designing a re-envisioned Arkansas Arts Center is a truly exciting commission,” Studio Gang founder Jeanne Gang said in a press release. “Its extraordinary collection, historic MacArthur Park setting, and rich mix of programs present a unique opportunity to redefine how the arts can strengthen local communities and surrounding regions. We look forward to working closely with the AAC to discover how architecture can enhance the Center’s important civic and cultural mission by creating new connections between people and the arts in Little Rock and beyond.” More than just a renovation and expansion of the museum's current building, the project is expected to completely change the way the museum is used and interacts with the surrounding downtown. “This project is about more than just addressing the physical issues of the current building. It requires rethinking how the AAC fits into the downtown fabric,” said Todd Herman, executive director for the AAC. “How can we best serve the community, and how do the AAC and MacArthur Park connect to other social and cultural nodes in downtown Little Rock? We want to do more than build; we want to transform the cultural experience.” The AAC was founded in 1960 and has a permanent collection with a heavy emphasis on drawing, watercolors, and other works on paper. This includes works from Rembrandt, Picasso, and Degas. The museum also possesses the largest U.S. collection of drawings and watercolors of early 20th century French Neo-Impressionist painter Paul Signac. The next step in the $65-million project will be to select a local architect to collaborate on the project. According to the museum’s website, an RFQ will be issued this month for that position.
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An iconic Miami villa-turned-museum prepares for a major expansion to reclaim its former glory

Miami’s Villa Vizcaya, an Italian villa on Biscayne Bay built by industrialist and farm machinery magnate James Deering in 1914, has told the story of its creation since opening to the public in 1953. Although not fully completed until 1922, the museum-house recently celebrated its centennial.

A new master plan in the works for Vizcaya encompasses a substantial expansion and the reincorporation of various lost or forgotten elements of the estate, including a model farm, adjoining Italian farm village, and portions of the gardens that have been neglected and closed to the public for decades. For the first time since the heirs of Deering donated it to the public, Vizcaya will be able to tell substantial parts of its story almost lost to history.

In the estate’s formal gardens, a “marine garden,” unseen by the public since being damaged by Hurricane Andrew in 1992, has reopened, and a destroyed water garden, as well as a wide set of stairs that once led to a private beach, have been recently rediscovered. An exhibition of contemporary art on view at Vizcaya through October 2017 is also drawing attention to many more of these spaces, including the estate’s moat (now a dry chasm through a forested section of the grounds), and parts of the original gardens.

But perhaps the largest “missing” element of that story is the farm, which Vizcaya is reclaiming as its current occupant—the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science—moves downtown, and the Italian farm village. Vizcaya’s administrators are hoping to use the village, which still exists quite close to its original form, for a mixture of public programming, collections storage (including open storage), and offices. The master plan then proposes the demolition of the former science museum to restore the farm site as open green space.

The original farm will be partially reconstructed and a reforested area will act as a buffer zone between the estate and the neighboring homes. “One of the most important things is the arrival of visitors and how they move through the village,” said Remko Jansonius, Vizcaya’s deputy director of collections and curatorial affairs.

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World’s first (and only) LGBTQ art museum to expand its Soho space

A venerable downtown art institution has recently announced plans to expand its diminutive Soho space into a larger gallery. The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art's expansion will nearly double the size of the 30-year-old museum to make room for its expanding permanent collection and provide more space for public programming. A Soho resident since its founding, the Leslie-Lohman Museum is the world's first (and only) institution dedicated to LGBTQ art. New York–based Steven Keith Architect will add 2,300 square feet to the existing 3,300-square-foot museum. "This expansion marks an extraordinary turning point and phase of substantive growth for the Museum, which has had a strong presence in SoHo for nearly 30 years," said Interim Museum Executive Director Meryl A. Allison, in a statement. "Not only are we adding an entirely new gallery to the museum, but we are also actively enhancing our permanent collection through our recently announced Hunter O'Hanian Diversity Art Fund. This fund, which has raised over $40,000 since its inception this summer, supports our mission of representing all of our constituents through collecting non-cisgender white male artists." The expanded museum, which is always free to visit, will open to the public early next year with an exhibition of 140 pieces, including collection highlights and recently acquired work by artists like Mickalene Thomas, George Bellows, Bernice Abbott, Go Mishima, and Richard Hamilton. The institution is not the only downtown museum aiming to live larger: In the past year alone, two Lower East Side institutions—the New Museum and the Tenement Museum—have announced major expansions.
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New Lisbon museum’s dramatic cantilevered roof offers visitors sweeping views

The Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT), designed by London firm AL_A, was opened this month in Lisbon, Portugal by the Fundação Energias de Portugal (EDP) to coincide with the Lisbon Architecture Triennale. The building is located within the Portuguese capital's Belém area and next to the Tagus River. Spearheaded by Stirling Prize-winning architect Amanda Levete, AL_A's design sees 15,000 three-dimensional, crackle-glazed, white ceramic tiles span an undulating roofscape, forming a reflective, rippling facade on the riverbank. While the rooftop terrace references the adjacent river through its flowing form, visitors can enjoy views of the 2,000-year-old São Jorge Castle courtesy from atop the cantilevered structure. Such expansive views, however, would be a rarity in (or on) a building that adds 75,350 square feet of public space yet barely rises the equivalent of three stories. However, the museum's four galleries can be found below ground, thus allowing the building not to tower above the low-rise Lisbon skyline. “In understanding EDP’s ambition for Lisbon, our design draws on the context of the site, creating both physical and conceptual connections to the waterfront and back to the heart of the city," said Levete. "The waterfront is so essential to the project that the design literally reflects it. The overhanging roof that creates welcome shade is used to bounce sunlight off the water and into the Main Gallery, one of the four interconnected exhibition spaces." Despite the museum's opening, the project not yet wholly complete. A pedestrian bridge coupling the museum (via its roof) to another gallery and restaurant nearby has yet to be finished. In addition to this, further public space will be added with a park area designed by Lebanese studio Vladimir Djurovic Landscape Architecture. This is all part of the project’s second phase, scheduled to start in March next year. Three of the aforementioned sunken gallery spaces will also be finished in 2017. Here, visitors will find work from Rotterdam-based architecture firm OMA and artists Aldo Rossi and Yona Friedman. Meanwhile, French artist Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster’s Pynchon Park installation is now on display in the Oval Gallery as part of the Utopia/Dystopia exhibition that will run through into the new year. Pynchon Park occupies all 10,760 square feet of the gallery and invites audiences to engage and become part of the work in a "fun and intriguing way."
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New renders reveal Selldorf Architects-designed Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego expansion

The Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego (MCASD) celebrated its 75th Anniversary by officially announcing the launch of a $55 million expansion and renovation, led by New York-based Selldorf Architects. The expansion plans have been in the works for several years, with The Architect’s Newspaper reporting back in February that Selldorf was rumored to be selected for the project.   Now, having raised $56.7 million of their $75 million capital campaign, the museum has announced that its plans are moving forward. According to the San Diego Tribune, the new additions will double the size of the building from 52,000 square feet to 104,000 square feet, and quadruple its gallery space from 10,000 to 40,000 square feet. The new design also includes a new public park open on all days and hours except for private museum events, a new gift shop focused on the museum's collections, and the conversion of the 500-seat Sherwood Auditorium into a 20-foot-high gallery. MCASD will close in January 2017 and is scheduled to reopen in late 2019 after construction is complete but the museum cafe will remain open. Outgoing director Hugh Davies told the La Jolla Light that the museum has always had strict space constraints on its collection of works. “Expansion of our La Jolla facility will allow us to consistently display our collection, as well as present compelling contemporary exhibits and expand our education programs,” he said at the 75th Anniversary celebration. This announcement comes after Selldorf Architects were selected to revamp the Frick Collection and design the Swiss Institute's new space.
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Herzog & de Meuron win commission to design Berlin’s Museum of the 20th Century

Swiss firm Herzog and de Meuron, working with German landscape architects Vogt, has seen off competition from 41 other practices to design the Museum of the 20th Century in Berlin. New York studios SO-IL, Snøhetta, and REX were in the running for the $218.8 million project, along with British firms Zaha Hadid Architects and David Chipperfield Architects. Danish firm Lundgaard & Tranberg Arkitekter was announced as runner-up, while German practice Bruno Fioretti Marquez Architekten was awarded third prize. Back in November 2014, Germany’s parliament put aside 200 million euros for the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation and a new, much-needed building to show 20th-century art at the Cultural Forum (a collection of cultural institutions located at the edge of West Berlin). In September 2015, a competition was launched for a design strategy that would include the site layout, architecture, and landscaping of the museum. The Swiss firm's winning proposal depicts the museum extensively clad in brick, with a pitched roof spanning its entire length. Inside, the space will be divided into four parts with a sycamore tree being placed in the northeast quarter amid a restaurant area. With this space set among the galleries and art storage, the museum will become a place for art, meeting, and archival storage. Circulatory devices inside aim for crossovers between groups of visitors that wouldn't usually meet. Herzog and de Meuron explained: "The museum is the place where different paths cross, where different mentalities and worlds allow an encounter. It has several entrances, as it is oriented in all directions. It draws attention to the local collection of art." “Internationally significant art collections” will be on display, including the National Gallery’s Marx and Pietzsch collections, parts of the Marzona collection, and works from the Kupferstichkabinett (Museum of Prints and Drawings). The museum will also connect to the Mies van der Rohe-designed Neue Nationalgalerie through an underground tunnel. Speaking in a press release, Culture Minister Monika Grütters spoke of the jury process: “The great interest [in] the project shows that it is an attractive challenge for any renowned agency to build in this neighborhood."
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Selldorf Architects chosen to upgrade and expand The Frick Collection

New York-based Selldorf Architects, no stranger to designing for the art world, will be helming The Frick Collection's enhancement of its existing home, the Henry Clay Frick House in Manhattan's Upper East Side. The Frick's efforts to expand have previously not gone smoothly. The museum faced outcry when it planned to remove a garden and add six stories to its east wing. (The Frick House was originally designed by Thomas Hastings of Carrère and Hastings and built from 1912 to 1914.) Those plans were abandoned but the Frick, saying it still faced a shortage of exhibition space, vowed to find other ways to expand. In a press release, the museum said, "Working in partnership with Frick leadership and staff, Selldorf Architects will develop a design plan that addresses the institution’s pressing needs to accommodate the growth of its collections and programs, upgrade its conservation and research facilities, create new galleries, and—for the first time—allow for dedicated spaces and classrooms for the Frick’s educational programs." These upgraded facilities, the release added, will be within the building's "built footprint" and will "foster a more natural and seamless visitor flow throughout the Frick’s exhibition galleries, library, and public spaces." Selldorf was unanimously recommended by the search committee, which spent 18 months evaluating some 20 architects. Ian Wardropper, director of The Frick Collection, said this of Selldorf Architects in a press release:
The firm understands and appreciates the value of institutional mission and has clearly demonstrated in past projects—such as New York’s Neue Galerie and the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown—how new designs can enrich, rather than overwhelm, already distinguished architectural spaces. Such an approach is essential to our project, which seeks to preserve the peaceful and contemplative experience that the Frick provides to its visitors.
The new enhancements will include "the opening to the public—for the first time—of a suite of rooms on the second floor of the historic house, for use as exhibition galleries," "the creation of a new gallery for the presentation of special exhibitions" on the main floor, "the creation of dedicated, purpose-built spaces to accommodate the Frick’s roster of educational and public programming," and "the establishment of state-of-the-art conservation spaces...." By way of some background, in the 1930s, when converting the house into a museum, architect John Russell Pope doubled its size and demolished its library to make way for a larger library that could accommodate the museum's collection. Additional expansions occurred in 1977 (which created the 70th Street Garden) and 2011 (which enclosed part of the Fifth Avenue Garden). This won't be the only art-related New York project that Selldorf Architects will have on their plate: the firm is also helming the new St. Mark’s Place location for the Swiss Institute. More details can be found here on the Frick Collection's website and a full press release can be found here.
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Your inner child (and adult designer) will love the new London Science Museum kids science gallery

Whether you're under ten or not, you're lying if you say that having a slide race to test friction doesn't sound fun—not that the word "fun" should detract from the seriousness of the task, which after all, is in the name of science. Like the idea? Well, that's what is now on offer at Wonderlab in the Satoil Gallery at the Science Museum in London, designed by London-based muf architecture/art. Three slides, each offering various friction coefficients, are one of 50 hands-on exhibits at the new gallery. As critic Rowan Moore points out, institutions in the U.K. have often gone too far with flamboyant displays when it comes to science. Exhibits have become overcrowded with gimmicks that obtrusively vie for visitors' attention, usually "displaying digital technology that had a knack of a) becoming obsolete and b) stopping working." At the Wonderlab, though, this isn't the case. Covering 25,000 square feet, the $7.3 million space informs fresh-faced youths on scientific concepts such as light, materials, sound, forces, mathematics, electricity, and magnetism. Each concept is represented by a single hanging object—a brass instrument for sound, a blown glass orb for materialVisitors are encouraged to find their own way around the gallery. A 120-seater theater, designed to emulate that of the scientist Michael Faraday, can be used for classes, meanwhile, 400 handmade oval samples showcasing different materials can be found by the slides. A cage for a Tesla coil also features a 26-feet inhabitable revolving orrery—reminiscent of George Wright of Derby’s painting—that teaches children about the solar system by displaying the sun, earth, and moon. On a smaller scale, the space features bespoke kid-proof furniture: A treasure trail of 25 crystals can be found in the benches and a 16-feet oak tree has been studded with magnets. "These details are a conscious reaction against the generic bright, wipe clean, panelled architecture of many schools and public spaces," said the firm. The gallery is also very spacious. muf described their work as "stripped back" in an email to The Architect's Newspaper. On school trips, the sight of kids tearing across the floor and falling through exhibits just so they can give their friend an electric shock is not uncommon. muf's decision then to remove layers of suspended ceiling and partitions to open up the space is perhaps wise, as it attempts to diffuse the drama and chaos that can erupt in such a space. By doing so, the firm also allows areas for waiting and eating packed lunches—timezones that are notorious for attention spans to waver—to be generously day lit. Teachers will also be thankful for the added openness that gives their watchful eyes wider scope for sniffing out mischief. 200,000 children are set to descend onto Wonderlab each year and muf's design looks set to be a fun, enriching, but stress-free experience for all those who visit.