06.10.2014 Leonie Peters

Protective Latticework: The Aspen Art Museum

Architect Shigeru Ban, this year's Pritzker Prize winner, has designed his first permanent building in the USA: Colorado's Aspen Art Museum. The extension to the exhibition hall was opened on 9 August, just in time to celebrate the AAM's 35th anniversary. Architect: Shigeru Ban, Tokyo
Location: 637 East Hyman Avenue, Aspen, Colorado 81611, USA
The intention behind the impressive edifice of the Aspen Art Museum, located in the well-known ski resort of Aspen, Colorado, was transparency as a gesture of invitation. Positioned at the corner of a street, this extension to the art museum presents two striking, imposing surfaces with high recognition value. A shell of woven, rust-coloured wooden panels stretches evenly over the entire height and width of the building. This wooden structure creates a restful overall image and yet allows visitors a glimpse behind the façade.
The possibility to establish visual contact between interior and exterior was an important design criterion for the Japanese architect.  Furthermore, Aspen's surroundings, dominated by mountains and meadows, also played a predominant role in the design. A sculpture garden located on the roof of the museum offers unforgettable vistas. According to Shigeru Ban's vision, a visit to the museum should start on the roof. Like skiers, art lovers should climb a great staircase in order to reach the roof, enjoy the view and then slowly make their way 'downhill' through the museum.
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