Thursday, August 11, 2011

Revisiting SAVANNAH: SCAD Museum of Art

(top left) January 2011                                                                                 August 2011
One of many highlights of the trip was a hard hat tour of the SCAD Museum, under construction, by its architect, Christian Sottile.  I last visited the Museum [construction site] in January 2011 when the entrance tower was just framed. The welders were busy with their torches 60' above ground. Over the duration of my visit this week, I was fortunate to see the tower clad in semi-tranluscent structural channel glass. When I arrived, from the Talmadge Bridge, I was awed to see the tower punctuate the Savannah skyline, then its perfect - and serendipitous - alignment with Oglethorpe Avenue on entrance to the city - this time, in glass, about one-quarter installed.  By the time I left Savannah, the tower fully encased. 

January 2011                                                                                              August 2011
Though there are daily detail coordinations between the architects and the builders, it was amazing to see the Museum essentially just as designed while I was working in the office. To see the drawings we labored over - from the initial weekend charrette sketches to the beautiful hand-drawn plates which detailed how the 1850s brick ruin would be cradled by the smooth, modern concrete box, how the elliptical arch openings of the old train shed would be showcased in clear glass 'jewel boxes', how this civic building would bequest permanence and elegance to the public realm - come to life in restored original 'savannah grey' brick, concrete and glass was truly extraordinary. 
Working for client with a vision of excellence and a high regard for creative expression and problem-solving was key. Savannah College of Art & Design tells the story HERE.
Read MORE and watch the VIDEO on the Design of the Museum.

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