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Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.

Arthur Roger@434 in New Orleans, Louisiana by studioWTA

December 22nd, 2013 by Sanjay Gangal

Article source: studioWTA

This renovation of an existing space to an art gallery was primarily concerned with highlighting historic elements while providing a clean, crisp surface for installations and shows.

The main gallery features floating perimeter display walls: Existing masonry is exposed along the top, bottom and sides, adding perceived spatial depth and the impression that the gallery itself is an installation.  Heavy timber columns–once an elevator shaft–are a focal point at the entry;  a stretched Dacron sail between the columns is backlit for dramatic effect from the street.

Rough textured masonry walls, wood columns and granite façade columns and lintels contrast the smoothness of gypsum, poured resin flooring and the illuminated Dacron sail. The historic nature of the building is emphasized as the bones of the space; new materials give an impression that they are an installation themselves–a temporal spatial occupation of the original architecture, Image Courtesy © Jeffrey Johnston

  • Architects: studioWTA
  • Project: Arthur Roger@434
  • Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Photography: Jeffrey Johnston
  • Completion date: November 2008
  • Design Team: Wayne Troyer, Tracie Ashe
  • Contractor: Hal Collums Construction
  • Client: Arthur Roger Gallery
  • Size: 1,800 sf
  • Software used: Vectorworks, Sketchup
  • Awards received: 2010 AIA Gulf States Region Award of Merit, 2009 AIA New Orleans Award of Merit, 2009 AIA Louisiana Award of Merit
  • Software used: VectorWorks.

The interior gallery space is strongly connected to the exterior via a minimal glazing system between historic granite columns along the street. The pure white, smooth flow of the resin floor seems ready to continue out to the street. Abacklit Dacron sail in the ceiling, framed by historic wood elevator shaft columns, is a dramatic element when the sun goes down. Installations are easily viewed from the exterior, adding a dramatic visual element to the life of the street outside, Image Courtesy © Jeffrey Johnston

A seamless, poured resin floor knits connects all programmatic spaces, creating a flow.  Connecting old and new galleries are backlit resin panels that signal a transition.  Sliding translucent panels provide privacy for support spaces and reinforce spatial continuity.

Minimal framing and glazing between the granite columns highlights the historic building façade and invites visitors into the space. Seamless resin flooring meets the exterior concrete with minimal visual separation, blurring the line between interior and exterior experience, Image Courtesy © Jeffrey Johnston

Back-of-house functions are supported by custom cabinetry and shelving [ideal for curio-like art display], built-in workspaces and integral lighting; in this way, the gallery’s functionality as exhibition space extends beyond the main gallery room.  Open slots through walls provide visual connection between workspaces and display/storage, emphasizing connections between programmatic functions.

Flat storage is fitted with a custom top and lit from below the display shelves above. An opening in the wall beyond provides a visual and auditory connection the main workspace area, Image Courtesy © Jeffrey Johnston

Integration and concealment of systems was of great importance in creating a clean gallery space. The knife edge on the ceiling furrdown lightens its visual impact in the space. Grommets attached to the elevator shaft’s wood beams allow a space between the sail and ceiling, adding another subtle spatial shift in the planes of the gallery. Connection to the adjacent gallery and access to back-of-house spaces invite further investigation, Image Courtesy © Jeffrey Johnston

Existing masonry walls were cleaned and repaired; gypsum walls “float” on them, giving dramatic shadow lines at top, bottom and sides, and hinting at the existing historic structure beneath. Electrical outlets are hidden at the underside of the framed out floating walls in a plug mold application, providing flexibility for projected and video art installations throughout the gallery, Image Courtesy © Jeffrey Johnston

Connectivity of spaces is immediately apparent upon entering the workstation area: Glimpses through openings in the wall hint at further spaces to be explored. Custom worktop and cabinetry are integral to the design and functionality of the workstations, Image Courtesy © Jeffrey Johnston

A view from the rear display area all the way through to the dusk-darkened street highlights the drama and flow of the space. Rear display and storage areas can be seen to the left of the workstations, Image Courtesy © Jeffrey Johnston

Custom shelving in the back-of-house area provides curio-like display area as well as an additional workstation, Image Courtesy © Jeffrey Johnston

Custom shelving and a secondary worktop station provide opportunity for display of smaller work. Highlighted pieces are showcased in lighted recesses. The main workstation counter continues through the wall opening, and the walls create a viewing frame from the rear display/storage, Image Courtesy © Jeffrey Johnston

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Categories: Art Gallery, Renovation, Vectorworks

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