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Clark Institute to Unveil Ando-Designed Visitor Center

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This summer will see the completion of the final stages of the Clark Art Institute's campus expansion program. Located in Williamstown, Massachusetts, the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute will christen a new Visitor Center designed by renowned architect Tadao Ando. The center's glass entry area is a dramatic new entrance to the Clark Institute. Since its 2001 reconceptualization, the Institute's campus has undergone extensive changes, including the demolition of a physical plant and the completion and opening of the Stone Hill center. Such changes will enable the Institute to surpass its former size limitations and display a wider variety of works.
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  In this rendering from Tadao Ando Architect & Associates the modified Clark campus is envisioned as it will be visible from Stone Hill, the feature on Clark campus after which the Stone Hill center is named.  Tadao Ando designed the Stone Hill center as well as the Visitor Center, the most prominent structure in the image. The Clark's Director Michael Conforti explains Tadao Ando's aesthetic as one that brings "architecture and nature into balance in a very special way."  The construction, which includes a landscape redesign by landscape architect Gary Hilderbrand, and a renovation of the Museum Building by Selldorf Architects, is expected to be completed in July.

    In this rendering from Tadao Ando Architect & Associates the modified Clark campus is envisioned as it will be visible from Stone Hill, the feature on Clark campus after which the Stone Hill center is named.  Tadao Ando designed the Stone Hill center as well as the Visitor Center, the most prominent structure in the image. The Clark's Director Michael Conforti explains Tadao Ando's aesthetic as one that brings "architecture and nature into balance in a very special way."  The construction, which includes a landscape redesign by landscape architect Gary Hilderbrand, and a renovation of the Museum Building by Selldorf Architects, is expected to be completed in July.

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  This rendering of the Visitor Center's lower level forefronts the "wonderfully light and airy" qualities that Conforti says characterize the center's below-ground main exhibition galleries. Conforti ascribes to architect Tadao Ando mastery at finding "innovative ways of bringing light into spaces, particularly those that are below-ground." 

    This rendering of the Visitor Center's lower level forefronts the "wonderfully light and airy" qualities that Conforti says characterize the center's below-ground main exhibition galleries. Conforti ascribes to architect Tadao Ando mastery at finding "innovative ways of bringing light into spaces, particularly those that are below-ground." 

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  Another view of the to-be-completed Visitor Center establishes the reflecting pool as its focal point. The reflection pool is the centerpiece of the campus's new water purification system that Clark Institute Director Michael Conforti credits with a 50 percent reduction of water consumption on campus. In Conforti's words, the pool is the "beautiful outward face of a very sophisticated hydrological plan that will capture water on-site, harness it for use in greywater systems, and provide natural filtration through engineered wetlands." 

    Another view of the to-be-completed Visitor Center establishes the reflecting pool as its focal point. The reflection pool is the centerpiece of the campus's new water purification system that Clark Institute Director Michael Conforti credits with a 50 percent reduction of water consumption on campus. In Conforti's words, the pool is the "beautiful outward face of a very sophisticated hydrological plan that will capture water on-site, harness it for use in greywater systems, and provide natural filtration through engineered wetlands." 

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  This image of the Visitor Center in construction shows light perforating down from the Visitor Center's upper story into the galleries through an open stairwell.  Courtesy of: Richard Pare

    This image of the Visitor Center in construction shows light perforating down from the Visitor Center's upper story into the galleries through an open stairwell.

    Courtesy of: Richard Pare

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  In this shot, the promise of the emerging structure is clearly visible: intersecting granite and concrete walls demonstrate the harmonious triumverate of sky, stone and concrete.  Courtesy of: Richard Pare

    In this shot, the promise of the emerging structure is clearly visible: intersecting granite and concrete walls demonstrate the harmonious triumverate of sky, stone and concrete.

    Courtesy of: Richard Pare

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