Asian Art Museum Extension

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.



San Francisco