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Shigeru Ban completes Aspen Art Museum

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[First look] Pritzker-prize winner Shigeru Ban has completed this 2,800m² new home for the Aspen Art Museum in Colorado

The downtown building features a woven facade made from paper and resin encased within a double-sided wooden veneer.

The £40 million scheme includes 1,600m² of gallery space, a rooftop sculpture garden, a movable ‘glass room’ elevator, education areas, a bookshop and an artists’ apartment.

It will open to the public with a free 24-hour grand opening celebration on 9 August. Inaugural exhibitions will include a study of humanitarian architectural projects by the architect who won this year’s Pritzker Prize.

Commenting on the design, Ban said: ‘In designing the Aspen Art Museum, I wanted to create a site-specific sequence that took into account the mountain views and the building’s purpose as an art museum, and to open the building to the outside so visitors could appreciate the beauty of Aspen from inside the building.’

He continued: ‘I made the entrance foyer on the rooftop. It is like the experience of skiing —you go up to the top of a mountain, enjoy the view, and then slide down. I also achieved this sequence by opening the museum to the beauty of nature with five important design features: the grand stair, the moving glass room elevator, the woven wood screen, the wood roof structure and the walkable skylights.’

Shigeru Ban was appointed to the project in 2007 and construction started two years ago.

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