Architects: practis architecture + design
- Area: 1800 ft²
- Year: 2008
Text description provided by the architects. The architecture firm studioWTA renovated this existing space in an historic building into an art gallery. The primary concern in the design was to highlight historic elements, while providing a clean, crisp surface on which to display artwork.
The main gallery features floating display walls: Existing masonry is exposed along the top, bottom and sides, adding perceived spatial depth and the impression that the gallery itself is an installation. Heavy timber columns–once an elevator shaft–are a focal point at the entry; a stretched dacron sail between the columns is backlit for dramatic effect from the street. A seamless, poured resin floor knits the program together. Connecting old and new galleries are backlit resin panels that signal a transition. Sliding translucent panels provide privacy for support spaces and reinforce spatial continuity.
Back-of-house functions are supported by custom cabinetry and shelving , built-in workspaces and integral lighting; in this way, the gallery’s functionality as exhibition space extends beyond the main gallery room. Open slots through walls provide visual connection between workspaces and display/storage, emphasizing connections between programmatic functions.