Space Ready for Art: Lots of Space
Yale Art Gallery renovation and expansion: Swartout and Street Halls.
Years ago now I had the early privilege to photograph the renovation of the Louis Kahn building, home to the Yale Art Gallery. That project was done before I fully worked for myself and started out on 4×5 film. This spring I had the privilege to photograph the construction complete, but empty spaces of the newest additions to the Art Gallery.
These renovated and expanded buildings are: Swartout and Street Hall. Swartout, which previously had gallery space, adjoins the Kahn building. The building has been extensively cleaned on the outside and in the great stone sculpture hall (inside the arched windows), but also sports the new very “white cube” upper stories. The expansion includes a 4th Flr, a mezzanine space in the tower, and a new terrace. Street Hall, attached via the High St bridge, was most recently the home of the Art History Dept. In many instances the changes are careful restorations of spaces, especially in Street Hall where sky lit galleries now look close to what they did when they displayed art in the first half of the 20th century.
Below is a comparison between a mid-construction image of the Swartout building I made from ground level in 2010 and a finished image in 2012. From the 2010 ground view, one can’t see the old glass skylight roof that now has a 4th Floor on top of it. Probably the most striking change is the amount of cleaning done. A close eye will also note the addition of a stone cap to the main wall that signals the new terrace behind. The terrace (as seen in an above exterior image) is accessed from the 4th Floor addition.
The deconstructed 3rd floor skylit gallery that now sports expansive 3rd floor ceilings and a new sky lit 4th floor gallery on top.
In Street Hall this lecture hall as seen in 2007 has been turned back in to the open gallery it was over a century ago when Yale’s early art collection was shown here.
An interesting project personally, and especially for the many layers of art and buildings that have housed art at Yale in one way or another for many years.
Thanks to all: Yale University Art Gallery, Ennead Architects, and Dimeo Construction Company for having me, it’s a lot of fun to be involved with a building project over so many years and see things change.
[UPDATE: 2012-06-01] You can catch the first image in this post (view up Chapel St.) now on the front page of artgallery.yale.edu.