14.1.2015

Aspen Art Museum in Colorado, USA

The design of Aspen Art Museum is based on five critical design elements: Grand Staircase, “Moving Room” Elevator, Wooden Screen, Wooden Roof Structure and “Walkable” Skylights.

Innovation: The innovative climate design concept for the building relies on a ‘thermos’ principle, where spaces with a higher tolerance for climate variation are wrapped around the gallery spaces where climate variation must be minimized. The ‘wrapper’ spaces support circulation and visual connections to the outdoors. The entire upper level of the building may be opened to the outdoors by retracting a large scale operable wall system, further enhancing the connection between inside and outside. This is a very unique feature for an art museum.

Sustainability: In addition to the innovative climate design concept, the building maximizes opportunities for day-lighting, while mediating direct solar gain. The unique woven exterior screen and long span timber space frame supporting the roof are used to diffuse light entering through the extensive glass curtain wall and skylight system. Structural glass floors are employed to further benefit day lighting of gallery spaces.

Description: The design of Aspen Art Museum is based on five critical design elements: Grand Staircase, “Moving Room” Elevator, Wooden Screen, Wooden Roof Structure and “Walkable” Skylights. The Grand Staircase: The space of the staircase mediates between the screen and the interior. It provides exterior access to the public roof and interior access to all gallery levels. Mobile art platforms inhabit the exterior stair, bringing a gallery space to the outside. The “Moving Room” also known as the Glass Reception: Elevator The large, transparent elevator will animate the northeast corner of the museum. Visitors will be able to ascend to the roof from the entry, to experience a slow, unfolding, focused mountain view at the rooftop. The rooftop space will be the only public rooftop in Aspen.

The Wooden Screen: The wooden screen shades the building on the two main facades. It creates the signature for the building and reveals the structure and gallery spaces beyond. Light coming through the openings in the screen cast beautiful shadows on the main museum stairs, corridor and entry spaces. The Wooden Roof Structure: The innovative triangular wooden roof structure covers the interior space of the roof. The remainder of the roof is open to a terrace. The structure gives a depth and beauty to the interior of the ceiling.

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The “Walkable” Skylights on the Rooftop Sculpture Garden: Skylights on the roof and terrace surface will bring light to the gallery below. Upper roof skylights bring light down to these lower skylights.

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