Studio Other Spaces to design museum extension that mirrors 'constant motion' of the sky

by Andrew Manns | 30 Apr 2019

Berlin-based art and design team Olafur Eliasson and Sebastian Behmann, co-founders of Studio Other Spaces (SOS), have been commissioned to transform a 1960s-era courtyard into a canopied community hall at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York.

The new atrium – dubbed Common sky – is expected to further augment the institution's US$160m (€142.6m, £122.8m) expansion, which is being led by the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) and which includes the creation of a 30,000 sq ft (2,787 sq m) exhibition space.

"OMA's brilliant design and SOS's masterpiece above our new Indoor Town Square promise to transform the Buffalo AKG Art Museum into a national landmark and a globally recognised destination," commented Janne Sirén, Peggy Pierce Elfvin Director of the Albright-Knox.

Speaking on the project, Eliasson said: "Common sky is an expansive sculpture through which visitors experience the constant motion of the surrounding natural environment.

"The changing light conditions, the passing clouds, the progression of the sun over the course of the day, the flow of the seasons all resonate within this warm, welcoming space.

"I see museums as places of engagement, where visitors do not escape from the world but rather can examine the world – and themselves – in even more detail, and Common sky amplifies this type of engagement."

Highlights of the Albert-Knox collection include Romanticism paintings by Albert Bierstadt and numerous Impressionism and post-Impressionism works by Vincent Van Gogh, Edgar Degas, Paul Gauguin, and Claude Monet.

The revamped gallery is scheduled to reopen in 2021.

Studio Other Spaces  Albert-Knox  Buffalo  OMA 
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Studio Other Spaces to design museum extension that mirrors 'constant motion' of the sky
Berlin-based art and design team Olafur Eliasson and Sebastian Behmann, co-founders of Studio Other Spaces (SOS), have been commissioned to transform a 1960s-era courtyard into a canopied community hall at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York.