Shigeru Ban Architects - Aspen Art Museum
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Aspen Art Museum

Shigeru Ban Architects

Culture  /  Completed
Shigeru Ban Architects
Aspen Art Museum Project Description:
The New Aspen Art Museum is located in the center of the high mountain town of Aspen Colorado on a prominent downtown corner site. The three story ‘kunsthalle’ provides galleries on the first two floors above ground level and on one floor below. The third floor is a multi-function space and café. Half of the third floor area is given over to an outdoor terrace with views up to the mountains. Design features include a long-span timber space-frame roof structure, woven composite wood panel façade, structural glass floors for gallery day-lighting, outdoor gallery stair which connects the site plaza to the third floor roof level, and glass ‘gallery’ elevator.

Innovation: The timber space frame roof structure is an unprecedented prefabricated system which eliminates fabricated metal joints between truss chords and webs. The strength of the wood connections rely on the geometry of the timber elements which are connected with long wood screws.
The innovative climate design concept for the building relies on a ‘thermos’ principle, where spaces with a higher tolerance for climate variation are wrapped around the gallery spaces where climate variation must be minimized. The ‘wrapper’ spaces support circulation and visual connections to the outdoors. The entire upper level of the building may be opened to the outdoors by retracting a large scale operable wall system, further enhancing the connection between inside and outside. This is a very unique feature for an art museum.

Sustainability: In addition to the innovative climate design concept, the building maximizes opportunities for day-lighting, while mediating direct solar gain. The unique woven exterior screen and long span timber space frame supporting the roof are used to diffuse light entering through the extensive glass curtain wall and skylight system. Structural glass floors are employed to further benefit day lighting of gallery spaces.

Project Data:
Location: Aspen, Colorado, USA
Area/SF: 33,000ft2 / 3,065 m2
Completion Date / Opening Date: August 2014
Design Period: October 2010 – February 2013
Project Title: Aspen Art Museum
Design Architect: Shigeru Ban Architects (SBA)
SBA Office in Charge: Shigeru Ban Architects America, New York, NY
SBA Design Principal: Shigeru Ban – Registered Architect, New York State
SBA Partner in Charge: Dean Maltz – Registered Architect, New York State
SBA Project Managers: Nina Freedman, Zachary Moreland, AIA LEED (AP)
SBA Project Team: Team: Ji Young Kim AIA, Mark Gausepohl, Jesse Levin, Christian Tschoeke, Grant Suzuki, Takayuki Ishikawa

Executive Architect: Cottle Carr Yaw Architects, Basalt, CO, USA

For Video Material, please refer to video produced by Redsquare Productions:


 Aspen, Colorado, USA
 Aspen Art Museum
 3065 mq
 Architect: Shigeru Ban Architects; Architect of Record: Cottle Carr Yaw Architects
 Shigeru Ban, Dean Maltz, Nina Freedman, Zachary Moreland, Ji Young Kim, Grant Suzuki, Takayuki Ishikawa
 Turner Construction in association with Summit Construction
 Structural: KL&A, Hermann Blumer; Civil: Sopris Engineering; MEP: Beaudin Ganze Consulting Engineers; Lighting: L'Observatoire International; Acoustics: D. L. Adams Associates; Climate: Transsolar; Timber Structure: Spearhead; Facade and Envelope: Front;
 Curtain Wall: EFCO; Window Frames: Wausau; Glass: Agnora, Viracon; Doors: EFCO, Wicona, Ellison Bronze, Dorma, Panda; Acoustical Ceilings: Armstrong; Interior Finishes: Du Pont, Forbo, Wilsonart; Interior Partitions: Dorma; Lighting: Litelab, Bartco, B-K
 Michael Moran/Otto


The 2014 Pritzker Prize laureate, Shigeru Ban (b., Tokyo, 1957) is widely respected for his innovative design approaches, environmentally sound architecture, his devotion to humanitarian relief efforts and housing solutions for victims of natural and man-made disasters around the globe. Ban’s love of nature has yielded numerous projects with innovative use of wood as a structural material and building systems that blur the distinction between outside and inside. Ban’s relief projects include housing solutions for residents of New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, temporary housing for victims of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan and, recently, the so-called “cardboard cathedral” project for the City of Christchurch, New Zealand, following the February 2011 earthquake, and new permanent housing prototypes for Nepal after its earthquake in 2015.


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