Contemporary building designed for The Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, US
According to the architects: “Close to five years in the making, the ‘Gallery in a Garden’ Barnes Foundation Building opened in 2012. The design was predicated on the arrangement of the galleries within the original building and a desire to invite new programmes into the scheme, such as a garden and classrooms.
“In keeping with the solar orientation of the galleries, the rooms face south along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, offering a view of the London plane trees along the road.
“The Collection Gallery has been designed with simplified detail to provide better luminosity for the artwork. Such details as lightening the finish on the wood, simple floor patterns and re-shaping the ceiling to distribute artificial light helped brighten and clarify the viewing within the galleries.
“The second floor galleries have a clerestory that draws top-light into the spaces and is diffused through louvers.
“The new building aims for LEED Platinum certification from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). The architects employed specific materials and strategies to achieve these results: low or no VOC products, FSC certified woods, recycled products and reclaimed materials, demolition recycling, energy savings with a 40 per cent reduction in energy use, photovoltaic panels that add up to twelve thousand square feet of the Light Canopy, and landscape irrigation provided by a 40,000-gallon rainwater collector and cistern.
“The entry experience is designed to create a tranquil environment for visitors. The materials chosen provide a serene environment: transparent glass, Belgian linen and oak wood battons, a walnut staircase, translucent green curtain, sand-blasted architectural concrete and limestone.
Images courtesy of Tom Crane of The Barnes Foundation
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