This project for a gallery and private residence includes a dance space, an office, a pool, and viewing spaces for a collection of contemporary and modern art with two exterior courtyards and a sculpture garden. Programmatic hierarchies of domesticity, leisure and the workplace are re-defined in a fluid landscape of reflected natural light where intimate daily experiences of viewing art present an alternative to the institutionalized space of museums.

The building massing accommodates this unusual program with six contiguous roof planes which define a single interior space that flows across a fifty foot long pool of water, using the water surface to reflect natural light. A habitable internal light well suspended above the water provides allows western sunlight to reflect off the surface of the water into the gallery spaces, providing a play of reflected natural light without direct contact with damaging ultraviolet rays. At night, the light well becomes a large lantern which illuminates the gallery with ambient light.

The design distributes the given volume of mechanical space for the gallery within thickened zones in the pool ceiling plenum, which is constructed of reflective stainless steel cladding. This distribution strategy enables the use of very thin laminated plywood floor and wall surfaces that morph into undulating volumes. This architectural topography works both as structure and skin, furniture and infrastructure distribution surface for low voltage direct current power and electro-luminescent lighting. The office is supported by a single plane of laminated plywood that bridges over the pool and is simultaneously floor, ramp and desk surface.

Date: 1998
Status: Completed
Client: Private Ownership
Location: Western MA
Design Team:
Frano Violich, FAIA; Managing Principal
Sheila Kennedy, FAIA; Principal Consulting on Design
Markus Froehlin; Project Architect
R Craig Mutter, Project Designer
Bhupesh Patel, Scott Murray, Eduardo Sucre, Tarik Oualalou
Architect: Kennedy & Violich Architecture, Ltd
Landscape Architect: Stephen Stimson Associates
MEPFP Engineer: Ibrahim & Ibrahim Engineers
Structural Engineer: Sarkis Zerounian & Associates
Photographer: Bruce Martin

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Art Gallery & Residence