In the Spring of 2009 students were asked to design an art gallery in downtown Manhattan, KS. The brief required that there be three galleries for 3 different art mediums.
The project responds to the needs of the program and the city in several different ways. The first, is that the building is legible not only in the way that it’s three galleries are visibly marked on the exterior, but also in the buildings transparency. People are able to see the activity on the inside, they are able to see that it is public and for the arts, especially on the ground level. This is a direct response to the brick boxes around the new building that conceal their contents.
The second is related to the first: to make the gesture of openness explicit, the building reaches out. On each facade a portion of the building cantilevers out, each projection contains a piece of art. At night this is even more clear - a building pushing art out to make it visible.
The third concern was related to funding. It is often the case that museums and galleries can gather enough money for capital costs, but then struggle for years trying to meet operational costs. The building form responds directly to the museums need to support itself. The phrase “Create a view and sell it” comes to life as the buildings galleries break apart from each other creating residual public space that can be rented out. At elevations of both 45’ and 70’ the building has large areas that may be rented for a variety of events. Circulation is also designed in such a way that each space may operate independently of each other. A closed gallery or a party on the 5th floor sky deck does not block circulation through the building.
Status: School Project
Location: Manhattan, KS