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Monday28 July 2014

Tadao Ando exhibition building opens in Massachusetts

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A new exhibition building designed by Pritzker prize-winning architect Tadao Ando opens in the USA this weekend.

The 9,750sq m Stone Hill centre for the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts, is designed in collaboration with landscape architect Reed Hilderbrand Associates.

The building is to house the Williamstown Art Conservation Centre and incorporates 762sq m of gallery space for the institute’s extensive collection of artworks, which include works by Renoir, Singer Sargent and Degas.

The two-storey wood and glass building features a terrace and outdoor café with panoramic views of the nearby Green Mountains range. A floodlit conservation facility at the heart of the development is complemented by 300sq m of classroom and meeting space.

The Clark Art Institute was set up by Sterling and Francine Clark in 1950 in Massachusetts, reportedly to preserve their extensive collection of artworks in the event of a nuclear attack on New York.

A second phase of the Clark project will see Ando create a new exhibition, visitor and conference centre. Working with Reed Hilderbrand, he will reorient the main campus around a 0.6ha reflecting pool, which will act as a public ice-skating pond in wintertime.

The Clark’s 1955 original neo-classical building will also be renovated under the scheme, scheduled for completion in 2013.

“The Clark’s special nature is defined by three intertwined aspects of its personality: its extraordinary art, its unique setting, and its commitment to the generation of new ideas,” said Michael Conforti, director of the Clark Art Institute.

“Stone Hill Centre is in itself a superb new contribution to this identity, while also being part of a larger plan that will enlarge, reshape, and enhance the entire institution.”

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