Shigeru Ban: Aspen Art Museum is a first for Pritzker Prize-winner

An architectural rendering of the Aspen Art Museum, designed by Shigeru Ban Architects.
(Aspen Art Museum)

Shigeru Ban, the Japanese architect who is the recipient of the 2014 Pritzker Prize, has never had his name attached to a permanent art museum in the U.S. in his three-decade-long career. But that will change in August when his new building for the Aspen Art Museum in Colorado opens to the public.

The block-like structure, which features 33,000 square feet of space, will open in celebration of the museum’s 35th anniversary. With a reported price tag of $45 million, the building will feature six primary gallery spaces on the museum’s four levels.


Ban and his team have created a grid-like exterior to the building that will allow natural light to filter through. The museum will also feature a glass elevator that will shuttle visitors to the rooftop garden.

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Founded in 1979, the Aspen Art Museum specializes in contemporary art from around the world. The public grand opening for the new building is set for Aug. 9.

Ban has worked with arts organizations elsewhere in the world, including the Centre Pompidou-Metz museum in France. He also worked on the temporary structure known as the Nomadic Museum, which has traveled to multiple cities.


Several years, ago, Ban and his team created a proposal for the Orange County Museum of Art. The designs -- which haven’t been built -- call for a museum and condominium complex that features large, sweeping spaces and provisions for an abundance of natural light.



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