Chipperfield Touches Down
edited by Sheila Kim -- Interior Design, 6/1/2004 12:00:00 AM
As European architects continue to explore Midwestern museum territory—Renzo Piano at the Art Institute of Chicago, Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis—David Chipperfield is staking a claim in Iowa. The British architect will soon break ground on his first U.S. museum project, Iowa's former Davenport Museum of Art.
Renamed the Figge Art Museum, the institution has secured a prime downtown site on the Mississippi River, and Chipperfield's building—designed in collaboration with Herbert Lewis Kruse Blunck Architecture—is slated for completion in summer 2005. Triple the size of the current facility, the 100,000-square-foot interior will feature educational spaces, a restaurant, and a riverfront winter garden in addition to galleries.
But it's the monumental building's two-layer facade that really dazzles. The outer skin will be constructed from fritted and clear glass; the inner surface will combine double glazing and solid walls interspersed with perforated metal panels. Intermingled, the transparent, translucent, and opaque surfaces will be completely transformed with changing sun and cloud conditions.