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A FRENCH M.ARCH THESIS
CURATING VISION: RELOCATION AND REINTERPRETING THE BARNES COLLECTION
Several research and professional trajectories originate in the work of Anda's M.Arch Thesis. The project uses the proposed move of the Albert C. Barnes Collection to Central Philadelphia as the springboard to examine the architectural conditions of display and information organization, in order to construct a perceptual experience that heightens the relationship between object and building and object and viewer.
The design is developed under three main conditions: the new building must present the original “wall ensembles” curated by Albert Barnes, eclectically organized to emphasize perceptual understanding of form, light and color rather than period, style and region; the 23 galleries of the original building can be increased in size by 35% but must remain in relative adjacency to one another; the new building should attempt to recreate the original “blackboard” effect of the Barnes as the pieces were originally rearranged daily to emphasize various relationships and understandings.
The resulting building emphasizes multiple views and cross movement (facilitated by a cutting away of the gallery corners as a result of the 35% increase). Experience is dictated not by a prescribed path but by emphasizing multiple narratives, induced not by the physical sequence of the galleries but by the associative qualities of both the objects and space. The new building rejects display as a neutral and isolated condition, as is proposed in the scenario of a single object on a white wall. Rather, by maintaining the defi ned space of the single gallery but redefi ning its edge conditions, the building produces multiple readings of space and of the objects, which simultaneously emphasize the galleries as contained volumes on the interior and as arranged objects (reminiscent of the “wall ensembles”) from the exterior.
Through several formal interventions, which allow previously impossible comparisons of various objects (visual information), the original diagram of view and movement found in the single gallery of the Barnes is extended as the diagram for the entire building.
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