Housing one of the world's finest international glass collections, the new Glass Pavilion at the Toledo Museum of Art will be an international marvel of its own. The implementation of a new process in glass design and fabrication, the expertise of an internationally recognized architectural firm and a postmodern design built on the belief of social transparency make the building an architectural and social masterwork.
Handpicked by a search committee led by architectural and art historians, community leaders and curatorial staff in 2000, SANAA, Ltd. was awarded the design for the glass center, which will house more than 5,000 pieces of glass from ancient to contemporary times. The Glass Pavilion was the first U.S. commission for SANAA, based in Tokyo, Japan; however, since that time, they have been selected to design the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York. Kazuyo Sejima, one of the premiere women in the international architectural arena, is the lead architect on the project.
At 15 feet tall and 76,000 square feet, Toledo Museum's Glass Pavilion combines the most advanced structural, material, environmental and aesthetic knowledge to create an elegant building that could not have been realized a generation ago. The one-story structure with basement will contain a glassmaking facility consisting of two hot shops as well as studios for lampworking, casting, molding, flat and cold-working techniques. The Pavilion also will include support spaces for loading, storage, administration, conservation and photography along with a multipurpose room for both lectures and seated dinners.
Emphasizing the building's ultimate function, glass will be used in innovative ways architecturally. Curved glass walls will divide the various spaces in the building while creating connections between spaces in a new and unique way. Exterior and interior glass walls are made of two panes laminated together for extreme durability. Although some will be larger, most of the glass wall panels will be eight feet wide and 13 feet, six inches high.
The glass is made by the Pilkington Glass Company and shipped to China for the fabrication process. During this procedure, the raw glass is shaped into the exact sizes needed for the construction of the Glass Pavilion. Since there are no right-angled corners on the exterior of the first floor of the building, much of the glass has to be rounded to fit the corner areas, and other pieces need to be shaped to fit specific spaces. The finished glass will be shipped to Toledo for installation in the Glass Pavilion.
The Glass Pavilion's primary purpose is to provide an in-depth examination of the creative process by presenting the Museum's glass collection within the context of all the visual arts. Within the Pavilion, artists and patrons will explore the creative process of glassmaking through the interpretation of the Museum's collection and by emphasizing the relationship between the art created there and the masterpieces in the collection. Some museums focus on the history of glass, and a few others contextualize works in this media by integrating them within the history of art. The Glass Pavilion will be unique in featuring the close physical relationship between its glass collection, related works in other media, and its glassmaking facilities.
structure: GF Steel structure BF Reinforced concrete structure
principal use: Glass exhibition and glass making facility