“Acupuncture architecture. That’s what the architects at Los Angeles-based and New York City based wHY called their redesign of the Louisville, Ky.-based Speed Art Museum because of the precise interventions at multiple points meant to modernize and bring new life to the noble institution. The judges named it the category winner for the Renovations & Retrofit category for the 2017 Metal Architecture Design Awards, citing the subtlety brought to its metal panels claiming it showed “a new meeting point between the organic and the technical.”
This $60 million construction project added 62,500 square feet to the museum’s amenities and exhibit space. The renovation encompassed a thorough redesign of a 1927 neoclassical building, plus two additions and a sculpture park.
The architects understood that the main challenge in dealing with a 1927 building was designing something new to look historic. The metal panels bridged the gap between the old and new.
“The existing 1927 building has a local limestone cladding so we wanted to design the expansion to complement the old, but at the same time to show the spirit of innovation of the time we live in,” says Andrija Stojic, LEED AP, director, wHY, New York City office. “The selected folded aluminum panels manufactured by Maplewood, Minn.- based MG McGrath Inc. gave us the opportunity to achieve several things: match in color, create a very subtle reflection, and create an illusion of a play between light and shadow in an equivalent way that the molding of the existing building does. In form, the horizontal moldings of the existing historic 1927 building inspired the addition’s metal panel profile. It complements the old and stands out at the same time.” ”