Resnick Center for Herbert Bayer Studies (Bayer Center)

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Project Summary

Resnick Center for Herbert Bayer Studies (Bayer Center)

Type

Commercial – Specialty

Location

Aspen, Colorado

Size

7,387 SF, 13.1 Acres

Scope
Architecture
Design Architect: Jeffrey Berkus Architects

Description

Located adjacent to Herbert Bayer’s historic Boettcher Seminar Building in Aspen, Colorado, the Bayer Center is designed to house the collection of his works for public view, the only of its kind. The museum is the newest addition to Aspen Institute’s campus, with grounds featuring Bayer’s sculptures and landscape along its pathways. The Center is smaller and lower than the Boettcher Building, paying homage to Bayer’s 1975 work.

 

The compact design accommodates ample gallery, archival, and support space for works of art that span Herbert Bayer’s illustrious career. Rigorous geometries and alignments were critical to the team and vision of a Bauhaus-inspired aesthetic. These parameters wrap the building and govern the dialog between elements which are repeated, mirrored, and proportioned by a greater set of rules.

 

To uphold the aesthetic goals, the Bayer Center must be an efficient and well-organized system of logic. This ripples through the infrastructure supporting the building. Structure and utilities must work in concert with the spaces without breaking the design purity or interrupting the open flow of the plan.  The steel fascia set to the top of the glazing determines the ceiling space, containing the building mechanical, lighting, and thermal envelope suited to Aspen’s climate extremes. The upper roof is similarly thin, tapering to an 8” tall cantilevered eave where structure and insulation are stretched to the extent of their performance. As the geometries meet, construction sequencing must account for streamline form and tight tolerances.

 

Advanced building technology elevates the Bayer Center beyond current day performance requirements. To balance interior and exterior conditions, the design team and envelope consultant developed a strategy through meticulous product research and detail strategies to support the design, its durability, and its sustainability. Using vacuum-sealed insulation and an aerogel coating on the steel, the building will reduce HVAC demands for a more passively stable environment. Envelope continuity wraps the exterior cladding and insulation within openings. This seamless design requires careful detailing to tie to structure and maintain thermal quality without breaking plane. The museum’s glazing and glass floors draw natural light into the galleries. The team refined the assembly produced by the same steel glazing manufacturer of the Bauhaus building in Dessau to provide a combination of excellent color rendering, solar protection, thermal retention, and slim detailing.

 

The museum will be a cultural merger between the Aspen Institute and Aspen’s community.  Anchoring the campus corner where it touches the city fabric, it welcomes the public to view Bayer’s works and to explore the paths connecting his sculptures to the landscape. The comprehensive body of this Bauhaus master’s works will be culminated in this museum and throughout the grounds, a true tribute to his contribution to one of the most famous art movements in history.

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