Frank Gehry’s designs for the Extreme Model Railroad and Contemporary Architecture Museum have been revealed, and as its name implies, the museum is about to take miniature trains to the maximum.
Located on an 83,000 square foot site in North Adams, Massachusetts, just a few blocks away from contemporary art museum and artist residence Mass MoCA, the Extreme Model Railroad and Contemporary Architecture Museum looks set to become the preeminent playground for architects and model train enthusiasts alike.
At the center of the new institution is its 670-foot-long gallery, where a system of over 100 model trains will navigate its way through a landscape of some of history’s most significant architectural marvels. Replicas of projects by more than 70 architects will represented, from architects like Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan to contemporary marvels such as BIG’s VIA 57 West and 6 of Gehry’s own greatest hits. These models are anything but miniature, however, with the tallest entry (the Empire State Building) planned to rise to a height of 35 feet.
Mezzanines will offer bird’s eye views of the set-up, while visitors will have the chance to walk beneath replicas of famous bridges (such as the Brooklyn Bridge) that cross over the circulation path.
The gallery will also embrace some high-tech features. Instead of painted backgrounds typically seen with miniature displays, the walls will be clad in a continuous rear-projection screen that will allow curators to change the weather, seasons and time of day, transforming the space into a totally immersive experience. At the center of the hall, a 150-foot-wide by 30-foot-tall imax-like screen will give visitors a look at the control center, showing the locations of various trains and providing additional information about the displays.
The $65 million museum is expected to open to the public in 2021.
See more photos of the museum design and some of the architectural models, here.
The Extreme Model Railroad and Contemporary Architecture Museum has selected Gehry Partners to replace Gluckman Tang as lead architects of their new museum planned for the town of North Adams, Massachusetts, reports the Berkshire Eagle.