Page N1.1 . 07 January 2004                     
ArchitectureWeek - News Department
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High Museum Reilluminated

by ArchitectureWeek

"Light, whether direct or filtered, admitted through skylights, ribbon glazing, clerestory strips, or minimal perforations in the panel wall, is a consistent preoccupation throughout; apart from its functional aspect, [light] is a symbol of the museum's role as a place of aesthetic illumination and enlightened cultural values. The primary intention of the architecture is to encourage the discovery of these values, and to foster a contemplative appreciation of the museum's collection through its own spatial experience." Richard Meier, from Richard Meier: Architect

When Richard Meier wrote these words about the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia, he was referring to the structure as it was originally conceived and built in 1983. But over the following two decades, the building's interior, and its treatment of daylight, was gradually altered to accommodate changes in the museum's organization.

To house traveling exhibits in addition to the museum's own collection, curators added interior walls. To protect the artwork from harmful ultraviolet light, they covered up windows and skylights. Now, the Atlanta firm Lord, Aeck & Sargent has completed a renovation, reversing those changes, installing modern-day shading devices that admit natural illumination while filtering UV light.   >>>

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ArchWeek Image

The High Museum of Art by Richard Meier has been renovated and returned to its original appearance.
Photo: Courtesy of the High Museum of Art

ArchWeek Image

Art galleries are once again bathed in daylight, but with harmful UV light filtered out.
Photo: Jonathan Hillyer/ Atlanta


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