HHF Architects and Ai Weiwei have come up with a super cool, ready-made and affordable solution for an art gallery in a rural environment. They blended art and a farm, resulting in Artfarm. Using a pre-engineered agricultural structure commonly used in the area, they created a versatile and expansive display for the public exhibition of Chinese art from private collections worldwide.
Located near Salt Point in upstate New York, the Artfarm appears as any other agricultural shelter but is far more complex. The building consists of a group of interconnected huts that shelter exhibition spaces of varying sizes, offices and areas designed specifically for storing artworks. The gallery concept required that the volumes be as large as possible but also inexpensive, and the agricultural sheds, which are widely used around the U.S., provided the perfect solution.
The buildings are constructed on a concrete slab and their outer shells use pre-engineered galvanized iron sheets. Insulation is provided by a thin PVC foil that not only reduces heating and cooling costs, but acoustically protects the building and its artwork.
Fluorescent tubes and raised windows on the north side flood the pure white interiors with light, while also framing peaceful views of the countryside.
The Artfarm is also an artwork in its own right. The pillowy cover of the ceilings offer a wonderful contrast to the cold, white vertical walls and stark exterior.
The pristine gallery is only 90 minutes by car from NYC, making it a great cultural escape for calming the exhausted city mind.
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Photos courtesy of Iwan Baan