Located near Salt Point in upstate New York, This building's rather agricultural exterior appearance belies a pretty cultural interior.
Designed by HHF Architects and Ai WeiWei, this is the 'ArtFarm' - a gallery for a professional art collection. The outer shape echoes the pre-engineered and easy to assemble type of steel farm building which is popular in the area.
Sculptural in itself, The Artfarm's rather abstract metallic appearance is divided into three volumes. Internally there are different sized showrooms, an office space, and spaces designated to store art.
The three volumes have been constructed on solid concrete slabs which follow the existing site topography, and the different levels are connected through a continuing cascading ramp in the middle axis.
This middle hallway with its ramp works as access for all spaces, allows an easy way of exchanging big pieces of art between storage and showrooms, and addtionally works as a picture gallery.
There are only three windows in to the north of the building - but despite this, the interior of the gallery is surprisingly bright. Pure white walls, an expansive concrete floor and the shiny PVC batt insulation work together creating a quiet and cool space.
In terms of storage and display, the architects conceded that fragile artworks present in such a space mean that one of the greatest needs of a gallery is a consistent indoor temperature.
Using the concept of an hermetic closed and insulated envelope, the existing heating and cooling apparently needs only to conserve the climate and support it when needed - an approach which has thus far worked well.
Photography Iwan Baan