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Minneapolis — Nov. 12, 2014 — At nearly 8,000 feet above sea level, Aspen, Colo., is known for its mountain ski slopes that rise seemingly from the heart of the town’s central business district.
Echoing these snowy, forested surroundings, design architect and 2014 Pritzker Prize for Architecture winner Shigeru Ban and his New York practice, Shigeru Ban Architects, and Dean Maltz Architect designed the new $45 million Aspen Art Museum, which was completed along with Colorado-based executive architects Cottle Carr Yaw Architects.
Featuring an iconic, composite geometric screen that drapes the museum’s bright glass and white metal exterior on two sides, the new AAM facility was completed in August 2014. The new museum houses 17,500 square feet of exhibition space, with over 12,500 square feet of dedicated interior gallery space — more than tripling the former museum facility’s exhibition capabilities.
Linetec finished the aluminum-framed curtainwall, windows, sliding door, and skylight systems in its Pure White color. Using Valspar’s Fluropon, Linetec matched and blended the 70 percent polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) coating in-house to provide a consistent appearance across multiple products and manufacturers.
The large openings' direct light is shaded on two sides of the building by the Prodema screen, which is a synthesis of paper and resin veneered with wood. Natural light is maximized from all elevations to illuminate the museum’s grand staircase, corridor, main street entry, and four of six gallery spaces.
“The museum’s lattice screen, bright white finishes and vast amounts of glass create a beautifully intricate play of light and shadow throughout the building. It’s a truly beautiful structure and a very environmentally sound project as well,” said Linetec's senior marketing specialist, Tammy Schroeder, LEED Green Associates.
To enter the 33,000-square-foot museum, located a block and a half from the main ski gondola, visitors may take an external staircase or, upon entry through the main E. Hyman Avenue street-level entry, a glass “moving room” elevator cab to the rooftop sculpture garden and café space on the third level for panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains.
From there, they can then descend to the galleries, exiting again at street level. Architect Shigeru Ban said this progression mimics the act of skiing: “You rise up, you get the views, then you descend.”