New Aspen Art Museum to open in Colorado

4 August 2014 (Last Updated August 4th, 2014 18:30)

A newly-built Aspen Art Museum (AAM) designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban is set to officially open its doors for public on 9 August 2014 in downtown Aspen, Colorado.

A newly built Aspen Art Museum (AAM) designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban is set to officially open its doors to the public on 9 August, in downtown Aspen, Colorado.

The 33,000ft² building features a rooftop sculpture garden and 17,500ft² of new exhibition space.

Shigeru Ban designed the building, wrapping it with a woven wood screen made of a composite material of paper and a resin called prodema.

Located on the corner of South Spring Street and East Hyman Avenue in Aspen, the three-storey museum is connected by a grand staircase inserted between the exterior skin and interior gallery structure, and offers views of Aspen's mountainous landscape.

"I made the entrance foyer on the rooftop. It is like the experience of skiing; you go up to the top of the mountain, enjoy the view, and then slide down." 

Ban was quoted by the Architectural Digest as saying: "I wanted to open the building to the outside so visitors could appreciate the beauty of Aspen from inside the building.

"I made the entrance foyer on the rooftop. It is like the experience of skiing; you go up to the top of the mountain, enjoy the view, and then slide down."

In addition to the unique staircase, the museum also features a moving room glass elevator in the north-east corner of the building.

Other amenities at the museum include an education space, the AAM shop / bookstore, an on-site artist apartment, art storage and preparation spaces.

AAM museum director Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson said: "Shigeru was a stand-out among the architects we considered from the earliest stages of the process.

"Shigeru understood that the museum had to be an appropriate expression for our community. It has a true sense of place. Ultimately, the building is like a work of art. The longer you look at it, the more you see."

During the opening ceremony, the AAM will host a series of events, including contemporary art exhibitions, film screenings, performances and workshops.