Machado and Silvetti Associates - Provincetown Art Association and Museum Print E-mail
Thursday, 18 October 2007 03:00

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The project by Machado and Silvetti Associates  consisted of the renovation and expansion of the Provincetown Art Association and Museum located in the small Massachusetts seaside town of Provincetown.

The project posed two challenges. The existing Museum is a historic 19th century building 'The Hargwood House'. The first challenge was therefore building a large extension that doesn’t conflict with the exiting building. The second challenge was to develop a large scale building, without overpowering the surrounding residential area of the small town. Machado and Silvetti Associates turned out this smart solution at the same time elegant, contemporary, and well integrated in its surroundings.

 


© Photographs are the copyright of Anton Grassl/Esto

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From the beginning of the project, the Museum clearly expressed its objectives: to significantly increase the ability to store a growing art collection; to develop a clear sequence of gallery spaces that could be used individually or collectively; to expand the Museum School facilities; and to establish a clear entry for the Museum that incorporated the existing two galleries as well as the Hargood House. The project was realized in two phases. The first occurred during the winter and spring of 2004 and involved the renovation of the Hargood House, the Hawthorne Gallery and Hofmann Gallery, as well as creating a library in the old conference room and expanding the office spaces.
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PAAM-6.jpgThis initial renovation work for the Provincetown Art Association and Museum was followed by the expansion, which has been ongoing since October 2004. This phase included creating the new Patrons, Jalbert and Duffy Galleries, as well as much needed new art storage areas and an expanded Museum School. In contrast to the existing galleries, the new ones open towards Commercial Street, the town’s major pedestrian thoroughfare, making the institution visually more accessible to its community. As part of the second phase expansion, all of the building’s mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems were replaced. In addition, the building was brought up to current building and ADA code. All told, the work has taken nearly three years and has nearly doubled the size of the institution.
The interior of the Provincetown Art Association and Museum is sober, consisting of unencumbered spaces with surrounding white walls creating the right contest to the display of the Art Work.

paam-8.jpgThe renovations and expansion were designed to rigorous standards of sustainable design. Some of the building’s ’green’ elements are visible, such as the photovoltaic panels on the roof, the use of native plants in the landscape and the many natural materials seen on both inside and outside the building. Others, although less visible, also play a significant role. These include a thermally efficient building "skin" with added insulation and high-performance windows, the use of natural light and a "daylight dimming" system for the galleries and studio spaces which supplement natural light with artificial light as required. Finally, the building has a "natural ventilation system" which, when appropriate, allows the building to be cooled with outside air. As a result, the building is the first art museum to qualify for LEED and earned the Silver rating from the US Green Building Council.
The change in texture between the different levels and the careful interaction of solid walls and glazing makes the large building (19,000 sqft) appear smaller and helps it to integrate to its surroundings nor does it overwhelm the existing structure. It has however a strong character that lets it assert itself as an autonomous project rich with ideas. It is a great to see how the Architects with the ability by infusing a subtle aesthetic to the project were able to strike the right balance.

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About Machado and Silvetti Associates
Architecture and Urban Design


PAAM-4.jpg Machado and Silvetti Associates is an architecture and urban design firm known for distinctive spaces and unique works of architecture in the United States and abroad. Their designs are the result of careful integration of the client’s aspirations, the project’s programmatic requirements, and the nature and character of the place for which a proposal is designed. The work does not espouse any signature style, but strives to find that which is unique and important within a given project, and to express that urbanistically and architecturally. The projects are distinctive for their conceptual clarity and visual intensity.
Machado and Silvetti Associates became incorporated in 1985, although principals Rodolfo Machado and Jorge Silvetti have been in association since 1974. The firm’s projects have been of diverse size and nature, and include urban design and planning for Berlin, Beirut, Buenos Aires, Sicily, Frankfurt, San Juan, Seoul, Singapore, Venice, Vienna, and in the United States for Boston, Dallas, Houston, New York, Portland, and San Francisco among others.
In 1991, the firm was given the first ever Award in Architecture by the American Academy of Arts and Letters for twenty years of “boldly conceived and brilliantly executed urban projects” and the designs were commended for being “uncompromisingly dedicated to envisioning a meaningful architecture of the public realm.” Since that time, the office has received three National Honor Awards from the American Institute of Architects as well as the AIA Brick in Architecture Award, ten Progressive Architecture awards and citations, eleven design awards from the New England AIA chapter, sixteen Boston Society of Architects awards, including the 2003 Harleston Parker Medal, and the prestigious International Award for Architecture in Stone.
Three monographs have been produced on the office, Rodolfo Machado and Jorge Silvetti: Buildings for Cities (1990), Casas 40: Rodolfo Machado & Jorge Silvetti (1995), and Unprecedented Realism: The Architecture of Machado and Silvetti (1995). In addition to their architectural practice, principals Rodolfo Machado and Jorge Silvetti both teach at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, where Mr. Silvetti chaired the Department of Architecture from 1995 to 2002 and Mr. Machado currently chairs the department of Urban Planning and Design. Additionally, Mr. Silvetti served as a juror for the Pritzker Prize from 1997 to 2004.

 

©All photographs are the copyright of  photographer Anton Grassl/Esto No reproduction is allowed without their prior consent. Infringement to this copyright could be subject to procecution.


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