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Aspen Art Museum, Colorado, USA

Location: 637 E Hyman Ave, Aspen, Colorado, USA
Year built: 1979
Architect: Shigeru Ban

The Aspen Art Museum, situated on the corner of East Hyman Avenue and South Spring Street, was the first permanent museum constructed in the United States. Built in 2014, the magnificent building resembles a rectangular glass structure encased within a crisscrossing timber facade.

The interior space of the building features a striking ceiling, characterised by a flowing, weaving pattern of timber beams, which extend out into the concrete rooftop courtyard. A grand glass wall intersects the structure, creating a divided interior and exterior space. A blend of indoor and outdoor living defines the structure.

The Aspen’s roof-deck sculpture garden provides the only unobstructed public rooftop view of the sprawling vistas of Ajax Mountain. The deck also functions as an activated exhibition and event space.

About Shigeru Ban

Born in 1957, Shigeru Ban is a well-renowned Japanese architect known for his unique, innovative paper and cardboard works. He came to recognition for using recycled cardboard tubes to efficiently house disaster victims. Completing his studies in 1984, Ban enrolled at the Tokyo University of the Arts and the Southern California Institute of Architecture before settling at Cooper Union’s School of Architecture, under John Hejduk. Hejduk helped establish Ban’s interest in ‘architectonic poetics’—a philosophy that envisions poetry as three-dimensional structures.

Ban’s 36-year career boasts many accolades, including being named the 37th recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, which is the most prestigious prize in modern architecture. Ban was praised for his innovative use of unique materials and his dedication to global humanitarian efforts.

Photos by Jimmy Baikovicius / Flickr