New Aspen Art Museum Building, Architect, Colorado Architecture, America
New Aspen Art Museum
Architecture in Colorado, USA – design by Shigeru Ban Architects
11 Jan 2014
New Aspen Art Museum Building
Building at the corner of Spring Street and Hyman Avenue
Design: Shigeru Ban Architects
ASPEN ART MUSEUM ANNOUNCES INAUGURAL EXHIBITIONS FOR
SHIGERU BAN-DESIGNED NEW BUILDING, OPENING SUMMER 2014
Lead Exhibition Will Be an Unprecedented Exploration of Work by Yves Klein and David Hammons
Additional Exhibitions to Focus on Shigeru Ban’s Humanitarian Housing Projects and Work by Tomma Abts, Rosemarie Trockel, Jim Hodges, and Cai Guo-Qiang
The Aspen Art Museum (AAM) will open the doors of its new, 33,000 square-foot Shigeru Ban-designed building on Saturday, August 9, 2014, with a free, 24-hour celebration. The new AAM is located at 637 East Hyman Avenue in
downtown Aspen. It opens during the AAM’s 35th year of presenting internationally important contemporary art, with a dynamic slate of exhibitions in six gallery spaces throughout the four-level building. The 24-hour public grand opening on August 9 follows the Museum’s 10th annual ArtCrush summer benefit on August 1, and a members’ opening on August 2.
The new AAM’s inaugural exhibitions will be led by Yves Klein and David Hammons
[Galleries 2 & 3— Street/Ground Floor Level], an unprecedented coupling of two of the
most significant artists of our time. Shigeru Ban: Humanitarian Architecture
[Gallery 1—Second Level] will present four full-scale examples of Ban’s groundbreaking
designs for humanitarian relief, allowing the viewer to walk around as well as enter these
structures. Tomma Abts [Galleries 4 & 5—Lower Level] will explore the artist’s drawing
practice, and include new works created specifically for this exhibition. Rosemarie
Trockel [Gallery 6—Lower Level] will offer a focused look at the artist’s groundbreaking
and multifaceted engagement with the medium of ceramics. Jim Hodges [Street-level
Plaza—Exterior of AAM] presents a new outdoor installation called With Liberty and
Justice For All in the plaza outside the Museum. And Cai Guo-Qiang [Roof Deck
Sculpture Garden] is developing a new project for the AAM’s sculpture garden.
Aspen Art Museum Nancy and Bob Magoon CEO and Director Heidi Zuckerman
Jacobson: “I am thrilled, as we proceed toward the scheduled summer 2014 grand
opening of our new Aspen Art Museum facility, to announce our inaugural AAM
exhibitions. In this penultimate moment of preparation for our most important institutional
endeavor, I am proud and humbled to look ahead to every promise our new facility holds
in providing these and other expanded future opportunities for mission-vital
contemporary arts programming for our community.”
Aspen Art Museum Board of Trustees Co-President John Phelan comments: “Since
2005, the Aspen Art Museum has made it one of its institutional priorities to construct an
architecturally significant venue in the Aspen core for presenting contemporary art—a
building that would further the AAM’s trajectory of programming the most innovative,
intriguing, and important art of our time. As we stand on the cusp of accomplishing this
endeavor, Co-President Paul Schorr and I are proud to serve on the AAM Board and to
acknowledge the commitment of our fellow Board of Trustees and National Council
members, staff, artists, and the many within our community who have contributed to
providing this opportunity. We thank them for their support of the AAM and the arts in
Aspen Art Museum New Building Committee Chair Paul Pariser adds, “As a member of
the AAM Board of Trustees and National Council, and Chair of the New Building
Committee, I am extremely excited as we move steadily forward in writing this chapter in
the museum’s history. I look forward to the debut of these first memorable and historic
exhibitions within what I know will be one of Aspen’s most vitally important cultural
About the New Aspen Art Museum
Located on the corner of South Spring Street and East Hyman Avenue in Aspen’s
downtown core a few blocks from Aspen’s main skiing/snowboarding mountain, Ajax
Mountain, the new AAM is Shigeru Ban’s first U.S. museum. Of its design, Ban states:
“Designing the Aspen Art Museum presented a very exciting opportunity to create a harmony between architecture and Aspen’s surrounding beauty while also responding to the need for the dialogue between artwork, audience, and the space itself.”
Ban’s vision for the new AAM is based on transparency and open view planes—inviting
those outside to engage with the building’s interior, and providing those within the
opportunity to see their exterior surroundings as part of a uniquely Aspen Art Museum
experience. The new Museum features 12,500 square feet of flexible exhibition space in
six primary gallery spaces spread over the museum’s four levels—more than tripling the
amount of exhibition space in the museum’s current facility. The galleries have a ceiling
height of fourteen feet, most infused with natural light.
Visitors will enter the new AAM through a main public entry on the north side of the
building along East Hyman Avenue, which allows access to the main reception area, as
well as the new AAM’s two ground floor galleries. From there, visitors may choose their
path through museum spaces—ascending to upper levels either via Ban’s “moving room”
glass elevator in the northeast corner of the new facility, or the grand staircase on the
east side of the facility perpendicular to South Spring Street. The grand staircase—an
interstitial three-level passageway situated between the building’s woven composite
exterior grid and interior structure—is intersected by a glass wall dividing the stairway
into a ten-foot-wide exterior space, and a six-foot-wide interior space. The unique
passage allows for the natural blending of outdoor and indoor spaces and will feature
mobile pedestals where art will be exhibited.
After climbing the grand staircase to the roof deck sculpture garden, visitors will enjoy
unparalleled, sweeping vistas of Aspen’s internationally recognized environment. This
will be the only unobstructed public rooftop view anywhere in town of the iconic Ajax
Mountain. The roof deck will also be an activated exhibition and event space, with a café
and bar and outdoor screening space. Shigeru Ban envisioned that visitors would
navigate the new AAM the way a mountain is navigated when skiing or snowboarding—
by proceeding to the very top of the building and descending from floor to floor. Other
features of the museum’s architecture include: “walkable” skylights that will assist in
illuminating the single main gallery on the second level; two galleries, an education
space, bookstore/museum shop and on-site artist apartment on the ground floor; and, on
the new AAM’s lower level, three galleries, art storage, and art preparation spaces.
About The Building Project
The meteoric growth of the AAM in recent years has meant a 115% increase in
operating budget, a 110% increase in annual visitorship, and a 1,140% increase in the
number of students served through the AAM’s ambitious educational outreach
programming. A longstanding strategic goal for the AAM—the expansion of its facility
and relocation to the downtown Aspen core—became a necessity. In 2007, the AAM
appointed an Architect Selection Committee, which included ASC chair Frances Dittmer,
then acting Secretary of AAM’s Board of Trustees; 2007 serving AAM Board of Trustees
President Nancy Magoon and AAM Board members Larry Marx and Gayle Stoffel; and AAM National Council members Stefan T. Edlis and Diane Halle. After an international
search, it was the committee’s unanimous decision to select celebrated architect Shigeru
Ban (Shigeru Ban Architects) for the project.
In August 2010, the AAM moved forward with the acquisition of property at the corner of
South Spring Street and East Hyman Avenue. A groundbreaking event was held on the
new site on “Aspen’s Day” 8/16/11, and construction began in October 2012, with
international construction team Turner Construction in the leading role and a goal of
completion established for summer 2014.
Construction of the new AAM facility is 100% privately funded. The AAM continues
fundraising as part of an overall Capital and Endowment Campaign with a goal of $65
million, including the $45 million building project budget as well as $20 million for the
Museum’s endowment. To date, $58 million has been raised, including the $20 million
for the Museum’s endowment, and $38 million toward the building project.
The new facility will be located at the corner of South Spring Street and Hyman Avenue in downtown Aspen.
In 1979 the Aspen Art Museum opened its doors at the renovated Holy Cross Power Plant on the banks of the Roaring Fork River. For 33 years that facility has served the mission of the organization well, fostering a program of art, dialogue, and creativity that has grown into a major cultural institution serving Aspen, the Roaring Fork Valley, the region, and the world.
The meteoric growth of the museum in recent years has seen a 200% increase in budget, number of students served, and annual visitors. A long-standing strategic goal for the AAM—the expansion of its facility and relocation to the downtown Aspen core—has become a necessitated reality to meet the ongoing demand for services to the community.
With the unanimous support of the AAM Board of Trustees, the initial fundraising success, the identification of Shigeru Ban as design architect, and the August 2011 acquisition of property at the corner of Spring Street and Hyman Avenue in Aspen, the AAM commenced construction in fall 2012 of a building appropriate for the production, presentation, and experience of art. The New Aspen Art Museum is 100% privately funded, and under the leadership of the AAM New Building Committee, will be completed within budget and on time for the summer of 2014.
New Aspen Art Museum Project
Gallery Space: 12,500 sqft
Access: Free Admission
Roof: Only Public Rooftop View of Aspen Mountain
Facility: Free Films, Lectures, Performances
Programme: art galleries + new black box theater space
Total area: 30,000 sqft of art and culture
New Aspen Art Museum – Building Information
Shigeru Ban Architects (SBA)
SBA comprises 55 members working in three offices (New York, Paris, and Tokyo) and has completed several museum projects abroad, notably the Centre Pompidou-Metz (2010). The New Aspen Art Museum will be the renowned firm’s first permanent US museum to be constructed. Click here to read more about New AAM architect Shigeru Ban.
Cottle Carr Yaw Architects (CCY)
The AAM’s local architect of record, Basalt, Colorado–based firm CCY has been recognized with over 100 design awards, including the AIA’s Architectural Firm of the Year for the Western Mountain Region, and has been featured in over 50 publications, including Architectural Digest, Architectural Record, Robb Report, Western Interiors and Design, Town & Country, Urban Land, and USA Today.
Turner Construction Company
An international leader in building services, Turner Construction Company’s broad portfolio includes significant experience in museum and cultural projects. A select list of its recent projects includes the Art Institute of Chicago’s Modern Wing and Nicholas Bridgeway; the future home of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York’s Meatpacking District; and 2002–6 renovation and expansion of The Museum of Modern Art.
Summit Construction Company
A full-service construction management firm based in Basalt, Colorado, Summit Construction Company is rooted in the core principle of providing exceptional customer service. Summit begins each job with meticulous organization and the formulation of a comprehensive plan, and prides itself on effective communication of the project and its goals to both the construction team and the community at large. Summit’s recent projects include the Westin Hotel in Snowmass Village.
New AAM Project Manager Michael O’Connor
Michael O’Connor brings over 25 years of construction and development experience to the building project team. In addition to his work with the AAM, he has been acting as a development and construction consultant to the Aspen School District and the Town of Snowmass Village, Colorado. Based in Basalt, Colorado, he has also worked with the Aspen Skiing Company as an owner representative on several construction and planning projects and has partnered on the consulting venture Resort Opportunities and Investments, LLC.
New Aspen Art Museum Building images / information from Axis Mundi
Shigeru Ban Architects
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