Artfarm by HHF Architects and Ai Weiwei

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More from Swiss architects HHF: Artfarm is a gallery for a professional art collection, designed in collaboration with Chinese artist Ai Weiwei.

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The gallery is located on the site of a private residence at Salt Point, near New York, USA.

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The building is constructed on a concrete slab from pre-engineered steel, usually used in the area for agricultural structures.

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The interior is divided into showrooms, an office and storage spaces for the artwork.

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"With its abstract metallic appearance the structure becomes an equal member of a whole group of sculptures which are spread out in the landscape," say the architects.

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"The massive concrete floor and the white shiny PVC batt insulation are creating a quiet and cool space."

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Photographs by Iwan Baan

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See HHF's Ruta del Peregrino lookout point in our earlier story.

The following information is from HHF Architects:

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ARTFARM
Salt Point, New York / USA

The Artfarm is located near Salt Point in upstate New York (1.5h drive from the City), on the site of an existing private residence, built in the 80ies. The client is an art collector and owner of Chambers Fine Art, a well known gallery located in New York City and Beijing and which is specialized in contemporary chinese art.

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The building is designed as a gallery for a professional art collection. On the interior it’s subdivided into different sized showrooms, an office space and spaces designated to store art.

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The outer shape is a consequence of the used pre-engineered and easy to assemble type of steel building, which often gets used for agricultural purposes in that area. With its abstract metallic appearance the structure becomes an equal member of a whole group of sculptures which are spread out in the landscape. The three volumes are put on a solid concrete slab, which follow the existing grade on the site. The different levels are connected through a continues cascading ramp in the middle axis. This middle hallway with its ramp works as access for all spaces, allows an easy way of exchanging big pieces of art between storage and showrooms and works at the same time as a picture gallery.

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Approaching the Artfarm building from outside you don’t know what’s expecting you on the inside. Even though there are only three windows existing to the north (and the end of each hall, above the middle ramp, this is the only visual connection to the outside and allows a view into the wood), the building with its pure white interiors is astonishing bright on the inside. \

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The massive concrete floor and the white shiny PVC batt insulation are creating a quiet and cool space.  For delicate goods such as paintings etc. consistent indoor temperatures are needed, which is a challenge in an area with such enourmous change in temperatures. With the concept of an hermetic closed and insulated envelope, the existing heating and cooling needs only to conserve the climate and support it when needed. This seems to work well, during the first summer the cooling had never to be turned on, even on really hot days it was comfortable and cool on the inside.

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Architect: HHF architects + Ai Weiwei
Design team: HERLACH HARTMANN FROMMENWILER & AI WEIWEI with Tom Strub, Fumiko
Takahama
Structural engineering: Crawford & Associates, Hudson, NY
Construction management: Crawford & Associates, Hudson, NY
Photos: Iwan Baan (www.iwan.com)
Client: Christophe W. Mao / Chambers Fine Art
Built area: 373m² / 4015 sqft (gross)
Cost: € 250’000
Design phase (beginning and ending month, year): August ’06 - February ‘07
Construction phase (beginning and ending month, year): March ‘07 - June ‘08
Maximum height of the building from ground level: 5.8m
Minimum and maximum temperatures of the site: -25°C to +45°C

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  • Maxence

    Very interesting. I wonder how the sound is in this project.

  • http://www.minimal.hr igor

    splendid isolation used to emphasize the isolation of a person or thing : the barn stands in splendid isolation near the …………..
    congratulations!!!!

  • tommi

    I can see Ai’s “Keep it simple” there, rather nice to see d’ concrete floor @ the end as well, guess it might get published in DETAIL?!

  • http://www.soulofautumn87.deviantART.com Soul Of Autumn

    I’m not sure about the exterior, but the interiors are great…

  • gaque

    god awful interior

  • scarpasez

    I generally love Ai Weiwei’s artwork and architecture, and think I can see what they were going for with the ceiling, but to me it comes off a bit sloppy and flaccid, especially in contrast to the clarity of the rest of the project. Oh well.

  • Mowgli

    wow, thats interesting

  • http://www.desbastando.blogspot.com sebastian

    easy construction, good space.

  • slater

    I am not too impressed with the project as a whole but it is refreshing to see some construction photos and drawings. Nice work Dezeen.

  • geedee

    What’s a ‘professional art collection’?