The Asian and Islamic collections at the Brooklyn Museum were opened in September 2018 after a restyling undertaking lasting over four years. Beginning with the Korean art gallery containing one of the richest and most prestigious collections in the world.
Today the gallery is three times its original size, exhibiting around 80 works covering ceramics, metalwork, paintings, jewelry, and costumes. Curated by Joan Cummins, these works demonstrate the full mastery of craft that Korean artisans-artists have displayed since the earliest periods, as well as pioneering use of materials. The new gallery design was curated by Matthew Yokobosky, the Museum’s Director of Exhibition Design.
For the protection and presentation of this unique patrimony, Goppion was enlisted to create eight display cases, two of which were had extreme demands, both in terms of size (respectively 4 and 5.5 m long) and the requirement of an uninterrupted glass front. The challenge was overcome with an innovative pull & slide opening system for the glass doors. For perfect flatness and ease of movement, the glass sheets are suspended from the display case’s ceiling panel; they can be moved by a single person despite the considerable weight (ca. 700 kg).
The large dimensions required special engineering attention to give stability and rigidity to the structures, and to create the required air seal (0.1 Air Exchange Rate). Goppion used its own platform-frame made from aluminum to give an exceptionally rigid and accurate structure with a significantly reduced weight compared to steel. To protect against the risk of deformation of the glass sheets, the air seal, or structural collapses in the case of glue; failure is minimized by the use of the pre-tensioner integrated into the top of the display case that is completely hidden from view. This system, patented by Goppion, uses architectural tie rods to hold the glass in compression. As in all Goppion display cases, the materials are absent of emissions from harmful gases and substances. The glass sheets (extra-clear anti-reflection glass with a low iron content) guarantee exceptional brightness and transparency, allowing perfect color rendering.
The Brooklyn Museum represents another ‘global’ challenge to which Goppion was well able to respond by means of its usual approach, consisting of careful attention to the customer’s needs, the search for innovative solutions and experimentation, and a long series of trials and tests culminating in the prototypes that anticipated the construction and satisfied the demanding expectations of the museum staff in all details.