New Aspen Art Museum

The initial inspiration of the Aspen Art Museum is Aspen itself. Aspen has a beautiful natural setting, history of the old west, sophisticated international community, and is a summertime cultural center inspired by modern progressive thought. The challenge was to design a museum respectful of its context, flexible in its use, employs state-of-the art technology, and is iconic.

As one approaches the Museum from the south, a wooden space frame at the museum’s entry provides an outdoor sheltered space, and inside the museum an exposed wooden truss structure rises above and spans the whole Museum. The structural wood truss acts as louvers to filter natural light that penetrates through glass skylights installed above the truss roof. The unique geometry of the truss refracts the light to prevent direct sunlight from entering the galleries, but allows natural light into the public open areas.

The west façade is composed of a curtain wall exposing the wooden structure and also allowing abundant natural light to enter into the Museum, which creates a sense of transparency and openness. Glass facades on the north side allow views to the distant mountains from inside and also from the sculpture garden. The south façade is comprised of stacking glass shutters that completely opens the museum to the outdoors art terrace. From the main public space, a grand stair runs down along the edge of the site, following its natural topography.

Programmatic elements include: a reception area, galleries, café, bookshop, sculpture garden, and roof deck along with an administration wing containing art museum facilities, a library, offices and board room, and educational workshop, and an artist in-residence studio.

Description from the architects


7 photos

Building Activity

  • Georgi Sokolov
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