Aspen Art Museum committed to go ahead with Shigeru Ban design
Aspen Art Museum is pressing forward with its relocation scheme and is currently awaiting confirmation from Aspen City Council on a new plot acquisition in downtown Aspen, Colorado. Architect behind the project, Tokyo-based Shigeru Ban, has devised a powerful glass and wood design inspired by the museum’s picturesque natural setting.
The 30,000 sq ft building is set to house a reception area, galleries, café, bookshop, sculpture garden, and roof deck along with an administration wing containing art museum facilities, a library, offices and board room, and educational workshop, and an artist in-residence studio. In a vibrant display of artistic ability, Shigeru Ban has strayed from his classic paper-tube sculpture work to experiment with a variety of materials and forms, only reverting back momentarily to his comfort zone of wooden honeycomb-effect framing.
From a southerly direction, a wooden space frame forms an outside sheltered area at the museum’s entryway, whilst inside an exposed wooden truss structure rises above and spans the entire museum. This wooden truss acts as louvers to filter the natural light that pierces the glass skylights installed throughout the truss roof; this system refracts the harsh sunlight, protects the artworks from the detrimental rays of the sun. A series of staking glass shutters allow the south wall to unfold, leading directly out to an external art terrace.
Similarly, the west façade allows an abundance of natural light to filter through a curtain-walling system, through which the internal wooden structure can been seen. This formulation goes some way to achieving an impression of transparency and openness so desired by the museum. Glass panels form the basis of the north façade, exposing the natural beauty of the distant mountains and allowing those outside to view the internal areas of the fresh new building.