The Barnes Foundation by Tod Williams & Billie Tsien

A collection of French Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, early Modern art by Albert Barnes is moving from Pennsylvania to a new building created by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien in Philadelphia. The layout of the new building – the “Gallery in a Garden” resembles the original one. The plan was however enriched by new program functions such as classrooms or the garden itself. To secure the best lighting for the art pieces, the exhibition spaces were designed in the spirit of minimalism. Details such as brighter finish on the wood, simple floor patterns or altered shaping of the ceiling contribute to the overall luminous effect of the gallery area.

At the same time, these spaces create a natural circulation with a garden that defines the concept of a “gallery in a garden” or alternatively a “garden in a gallery”. The complex aims for the LEED Platinum certificate, awarded by the United States Green Building Council. The requirements should be sufficiently met due to the usage of specific materials, recycled products, FSC certified wood along features such as energy efficiency, solar energy utilisation and rainwater retention implemented the new building.

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