North Carolina Museum of Art Wins 2011 AIA Award

. January 14, 2011 . 0 Comments

The new North Carolina Museum of Art building in Raleigh, North Carolina, designed by Thomas Phifer and Partners has won the 2011 AIA Institute Honor Award for Architecture.

Inside the North Carolina Museum of Art, the light of day and the lush surrounding hills have a presence unusual in institutional galleries for art. Overhead, hundreds of elliptical occuli, in long, parallel, coffered vaults bathe the museum’s interior in even, full-spectrum daylight, modulated in intensity by layered materials that filter out damaging rays. In the gently luminous setting, against pure white walls, the artwork takes on heightened immediacy and vividness.

A departure from traditional hierarchies, the museum, in some respects, is a single 65,000-square-foot room. Within this spatial continuum, a succession of wall planes, many freestanding without reaching the ceiling, delineate separate galleries. But none of the spaces forms a discrete, fully enclosed room. Instead, a corner or two of each gallery remains open, inviting flow from one area to the next.

Outside the building skin—a rain screen of pale, matte anodized-aluminum panels, sheaths the museum and carries on the discourse with the landscape. These aluminum sheets, arrayed like great vertical pleats or shingles, softly pick up surrounding colors and movement. From oblique vantage points, the underlying strips of mirror-polished stainless steel that angle the panels off the facade capture unexpected, fragmented,and scintillating reflections.

The expansion galleries at the North Carolina Museum of Art will provide a distinct visitor experience in a state-of-the-art “energy smart” building. Naturally illuminating the interior environment provides color rendering and light levels ideal for viewing art, while efficient temperature and air quality controls, lighting and envelope systems provide the ideal interior environment for preserving North Carolina’s priceless collection of art.

Image: New North Carolina Museum of Art, Thomas Phifer and Partners

www.aia.org

Category: Fine Art

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