DENVER, CO.-The Clyfford Still Museum today unveiled the design for its future 31,500-square-foot home in Denver, scheduled to open to the public in 2010. Created by Brad Cloepfil of Allied Works Architecture, the design reflects the institutions mission to preserve, present, and celebrate the work of this legendary American artist. The building will provide intimate, architecturally compelling spaces for the study and enjoyment of the museums extraordinary collection, which encompasses some 2,400 works spanning Clyfford Stills career and is one of the most comprehensive single-artist holdings in the world.
With groundbreaking expected to begin in early 2009, the Clyfford Still Museum will be the latest addition to Denvers burgeoning cultural landscape. Sited adjacent to the Denver Art Museums new Frederic C. Hamilton Building, the museum will further enhance the cultural and architectural dialogue within the citys arts district.
Brad Cloepfil has created a compelling design that reveals a deep understanding of our goals and collection needs as a single-artist institution, said Dean Sobel, director of the Clyfford Still Museum. The museum will provide intimate spaces that shape visitor experience and encourage further engagement with the life and work of Clyfford Still, one of the greatest American painters of the twentieth century.
The two-story museum will accommodate a series of light-filled galleries on its upper level, designed specifically to display Stills work and to provide an optimal viewing experience for the visitor. Education facilities, including a library and archives as well as educational videos and interactive kiosks, will provide supplemental resources and detailed information about the life and work of Clyfford Still. In addition, glass walls will allow visitors access to view works in the museums onsite conservation laboratory and storage area.
Its an exciting moment for the City, as we move one step closer to the opening of the Clyfford Still Museum, said Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper. The design by Brad Cloepfil and Allied Works conveys respect for the artist and an understanding of his works. The Clyfford Still Museum will be a wonderful addition to Denvers rich cultural and architectural landscape. It will strengthen Denvers place as an international destination for everyone interested in twentieth-century art.
Building Design - The design for the Clyfford Still Museum envisions a dense, cantilevered, two-story structure, unified through the use of a single building materiala highly textured and resurfaced concrete, designed to modify light on both the exterior and interior of the museum. The 31,500-square-foot building will receive the full benefits of daylight, which will be filtered into the museum through a clerestory on the second floor. The textured concrete walls will diffuse, refract, and capture natural light in the museum galleries, and will give the building a visceral, tactile quality on the outside.
Visitors will approach the museum through a landscaped forecourt, which provides a transition from the city to the experience of viewing the art inside. A cantilevered canopy of concrete, extending 10 x 120 feet from underneath the second floor and forming the structure of the second-floor galleries, will draw visitors from the forecourt into the museums lobby and reception area. The first floor will also accommodate the library, conservation studio, collection storage, and administrative offices. Connecting these facilities and visitor amenities is an open, double-high corridor, offering glimpses of the artwork in the galleries above and views for visitors on the second floor into the study areas below. This open corridor, which will also include educational facilities, speaks to the institutions founding principle of unveiling this once-private and very personal collection to the public. It also lends transparency to the museum experience as visitors are invited to explore elements that are not traditionally seen by the general public.
A beautifully crafted wooden staircase will lead visitors to the museums second floor, which features a series of eleven distinct galleries, totaling approximately 10,000 square feet, including an orientation space at the top of the staircase. Visitors will move counter-clockwise throughout the galleries, tracing the chronology of Stills career as they progress. Each gallery is varied to respond to specific aspects and needs of the collection, which encompasses small works on paper as well as Stills large-scale paintings in his signature Abstract Expressionist style. The rooms will have varying proportions and different ceiling heights, ranging from 14 feet to 18 feet, which will be echoed on the exterior in differing rooflines. A raised ceiling or clerestory will diffuse natural light into the galleries, providing variegated tonalities of light from room to room. The building will create a powerful viewing experience for visitors, enlivened by natural light and a sense of intimacy with the artwork.
Capital Campaign - To date, the Clyfford Still Museum has raised more than $17 million in its $33-million capital campaign for the design and construction of its new home. Alongside the capital campaign, the museum has raised $5 million in a separate campaign for its endowment. In addition, the museum has garnered $2.7 million in support of its current operations and conservation of the collection. In total, the museum has raised nearly $25 million thanks to enthusiastic support from foundations, individuals, and government agencies.