TaylorandMiller
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Aspen Art Museum - 2014
Aspen, CO, USA

Architect: Shigeru Ban Architects


In daylight, the exterior wood screen of the Aspen Art Museum maintains an almost opaque appearance. Inside this screen, daylight permeates through and the wood is rendered in silhouette. This relationship between light and shadow is refelected in the lighting strategy for the interior. In the perimeter space, natural daylight is given precedence, the use of electric light is restrained to certain areas. Harsh transitions between the daylit perimeter spaces and the galleries are avoided by using an indirect lighting system, which casts light upwards into the coves between the structural beams. In order to give the galleries flexibility and a duality of scale, a secondary layer of track lighting is also utilized.

At night, the building becomes a lantern in the city. This inversion is created by illuminating the spaces behind the screen with layers of light; vertical and horizontal layers from the galleries and circulation zones respectively and backlighting of the wood screen. On the roof deck, a system of in-direct lighting illuminates the wood truss ceiling and is used in conjunction with downlighting to create an intimate outdoor space. At the end of the terrace, lighting is deliberately avoided. This allows for views towards Aspen Mountain without distraction from glare or light.

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