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Preview: Shigeru Ban's First Permanent U.S. Museum

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Shigeru Ban calls the Aspen Art Museum, which is expected to be completed this summer, "my great step forward in my career as an architect." Dwell caught up with the architect for the recent reveal in Los Angeles.
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  "There was no space to waste on this small site," says Ban. The building within has a translucent effect, with a woven wood-composite exterior.Architectural rendering of the exterior of the new Aspen Art Museum. Image courtesy of the Aspen Art Museum and Shigeru Ban Architects (SBA). 

    "There was no space to waste on this small site," says Ban. The building within has a translucent effect, with a woven wood-composite exterior.

    Architectural rendering of the exterior of the new Aspen Art Museum. Image courtesy of the Aspen Art Museum and Shigeru Ban Architects (SBA).

     

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  The museum was designed around, says Ban, "enjoying the view of the mountain."Architectural rendering of the main entrance of the new Aspen Art Museum on East Hyman Avenue in the town’s downtown core. Image courtesy of the Aspen Art Museum and Shigeru Ban Architects (SBA).

    The museum was designed around, says Ban, "enjoying the view of the mountain."

    Architectural rendering of the main entrance of the new Aspen Art Museum on East Hyman Avenue in the town’s downtown core. Image courtesy of the Aspen Art Museum and Shigeru Ban Architects (SBA).

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  The grand staircase leading up to the exhibition space of the museum, which will be free to the public.Architectural rendering of the grand staircase on the South Spring Street side of the new Aspen Art Museum. Image courtesy of the Aspen Art Museum and Shigeru Ban Architects (SBA).

    The grand staircase leading up to the exhibition space of the museum, which will be free to the public.

    Architectural rendering of the grand staircase on the South Spring Street side of the new Aspen Art Museum. Image courtesy of the Aspen Art Museum and Shigeru Ban Architects (SBA).

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  The woven facade tempers the intense Aspen sun. "I tried to open the museum to the street and plaza," says Ban, who points out that he intended for the main building to be "totally practical, to contrast with the handmade craftsmanship."Architectural rendering of the lobby and main interior entrance area of the new Aspen Art Museum on the East Hyman Avenue side. Image courtesy of the Aspen Art Museum and Shigeru Ban Architects (SBA).

    The woven facade tempers the intense Aspen sun. "I tried to open the museum to the street and plaza," says Ban, who points out that he intended for the main building to be "totally practical, to contrast with the handmade craftsmanship."

    Architectural rendering of the lobby and main interior entrance area of the new Aspen Art Museum on the East Hyman Avenue side. Image courtesy of the Aspen Art Museum and Shigeru Ban Architects (SBA).

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  The rooftop is most connected to the mountain. "It's important to take advantage of the existing context," says Ban. Visitors will be encouraged to begin at the top and work their way to the bottom. This museum experience, he says, "is like skiing. You take the lift and enjoy the view coming down."Architectural rendering of the rooftop sculpture garden at the new Aspen Art Museum on East Hyman Avenue in the town’s downtown core. Image courtesy of the Aspen Art Museum and Shigeru Ban Architects (SBA).

    The rooftop is most connected to the mountain. "It's important to take advantage of the existing context," says Ban. Visitors will be encouraged to begin at the top and work their way to the bottom. This museum experience, he says, "is like skiing. You take the lift and enjoy the view coming down."

    Architectural rendering of the rooftop sculpture garden at the new Aspen Art Museum on East Hyman Avenue in the town’s downtown core. Image courtesy of the Aspen Art Museum and Shigeru Ban Architects (SBA).

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