Glass Pavilion in Toledo

Glass Pavilion in Toledo

Door: Redactie ArchitectuurNL | 27-12-2007


Architect Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa
Project Architects Toshihiro Oki, Takayuki Hasegawa
Architects (execution) Kendall Heaton Associates, Houston
Structural engineers SAPS – Sasaki & Partners, Tokyo; Guy Nordenson & Associates, New York
Tekst DETAIL, Institut für internationale Architektur-Dokumentation
Foto's DETAIL, Institut für internationale Architektur-Dokumentation

Transparency and permeability are celebrated in the entirely glazed envelope of this newly built glass museum in Toledo. A pavilion-like structure on the campus of the Toledo Museum of Art in the state of Ohio, USA, it houses important collections, including one of the largest glass collections in the world. In addition to the exhibition rooms, the new building also accommodates a glass-blowing studio with workshop, a space for temporary displays, an events space and a cafeteria.

In order to integrate the glass pavilion as carefully as possible into its park-like setting with mature trees, the architects proposed the construction of a flat, single-storey volume. Transparency and reflections were employed as devices in the strategy to achieve maximum harmony with the natural setting.

Glazed inner courtyards pierce the almost square (57 ≈ 62 m) pavilion, bringing daylight into the interior. Inside this glass envelope is a broad promenade off which is arranged a series of cellular-shaped rooms with transparent glass walls. Without corners or edges these spaces flow into each other. Above them, the roof seems to hover, supported on ultra-slim columns of whitecoated steel and the solid wall elements of some of the room “capsules”. An impression of weightlessness is created.

In a complicated process, each glass wall element was cut, rounded and sealed in line with the design requirements, then fitted together. They are held in place by steel profiles inset flush with the floor and the ceiling, and Teflon sealing strips. This arrangement accommodates stress changes in the glass. The interstitial spaces act as a buffer between inside and outside, while air-handling systems concealed almost invisibly in the hollow floor regulate moisture and temperature in the rooms. Other technical systems in the building are also designed to be minimally intrusive. Transparent white curtains mute the incoming light and further enhance the ethereal effect.



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