New Aspen Art Museum, designed by Shigeru Ban, opened to the public

by Cecilia Di Marzo
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The Aspen Art Museum (AAM) opened the doors of its new, 33,000-square-foot Shigeru Ban-designed building to the public on Saturday, August 9, 2014.

The new building, located at 637 East Hyman Avenue in the heart of downtown Aspen, opened during the Museum’s 35th year of operation as a kunsthalle, and featured year-round free admission, a rooftop sculpture garden with dramatic views of Aspen’s main skiing mountain, Ajax, and the surrounding landscape, and 17,500 square feet of total exhibition space—more than tripling the square footage of exhibition space in the current AAM facility.



Of the new museum’s design, architect Ban explains: “In designing the Aspen Art Museum, I wanted to create a site-specific sequence that took into account the mountain views and the building’s purpose as an art museum, and to open the building to the outside so visitors could appreciate the beauty of Aspen from inside the building. I made the entrance foyer on the rooftop. It is like the experience of skiing - you go up to the top of a mountain, enjoy the view, and then slide down. I also achieved this sequence by opening the museum to the beauty of nature with five important design features: the Grand Stair, the Moving Glass Room Elevator, the Woven Wood Screen, the Wood Roof Structure (Wood Truss System), and the Walkable Skylights”.

The museum’s inaugural exhibitions presented a dynamic slate of contemporary art. The lead exhibition will be David Hammons Yves Klein/Yves Klein David Hammons, an unprecedented coupling of two of the most significant artists of our time (through November 30); Shigeru Ban: Humanitarian Architecture, presenting full-scale examples of Ban’s groundbreaking designs for humanitarian relief (through October 5); Tomma Abts: Mainly Drawings, an exploration of the artist’s drawing practice (through October 26); Rosemarie Trockel: Less Sauvage Than Others, a focused look at the artist’s engagement with the medium of ceramics (through October 26); Jim Hodges’s With Liberty and Justice For All, a new outdoor installation on the plaza outside the museum (through January 4, 2015); and Cai Guo-Qiang’s Black Lightning and Moving Ghost Town for which the artist will create both a firework event on August 2 and a site-specific environment on the rooftop of the new AAM facility (through October 26).

The New Aspen Art Museum

AAM Museum hours:
Tuesday – Saturday, 10 am – 6 pm, and Thursday’s until 7 pm
Sunday, noon to 6 pm
Closed Mondays and major holidays

Admission to the AAM is FREE courtesy of Amy and John Phelan
Visit the AAM online at www.aspenartmuseum.org

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    Aspen Art Museum

    Aspen / United States / 2014