The richness, which existed in history: the influences across borders, the multiple routes, and cultural exchanges were variables we felt should influence the layout and circulation of the museum. The result is a freedom of experience for each individual, based on his or her particular viewing interest. The project is founded in the circulation and programmatic distribution of the existing Asian Art Museum, which is based on the spread of Buddhism. Curatorial has treated this as a linear progression from country to country, starting with the oldest artifacts and moving forward to the present. We found this approach to be limiting to the visitor. Researching the spread of Buddhism as well as trade routes across Asia, we found there existed more complex relationships.
The locations of displays were based in time blocks of program. We began mapping these and an underlying cellular make-up became apparent. We organized both the existing plan, as well as our addition, through naturalizing the cellular order using voronoi methodology bound by our massing constraints. The heavy mass and weight of the existing Beaus Art structure was something we felt required continuity with the addition. Our proposal completes the rectangular form inherent to the original design, yet is lightened through the language of a cellular tectonic, responsive to light requirements of program. We introduced a light gap identifying as the largest program cell and acting as a circulation bridge to bind the old and the new.
The cellular make up can be traced across many levels and performing from field to object. The cell patterns can be traced at the roof level, extruding down through the building as structure, tapering towards the ground plane. The diminishing footprint allows for variable spaces between cells and creates opportunities for diverting or specifying program and circulation. These interstitial areas act as open gallery and main circulation opportunities. The structural cells are at times intimate galleries, light wells, or are opened to interact with the larger gallery space. The cellular system can also be traced in the articulation of the skin and the structural system supporting it.