Glenstone Expands

John Hill
14. July 2021
Image: The Boundary, courtesy of Glenstone Museum

Glenstone Museum has released renderings of a new building designed by Thomas Phifer and Partners that will house a major sculpture by Richard Serra. It is set to open on the museum's grounds in Potomac, Maryland, next year.

Although Glenstone Museum is anchored by the Pavilions, the building designed by Thomas Phifer that opened to the public in October 2018, a visit to the place reveals the importance of landscape in experiencing art. The Pavilions are reached by a meandering path from the entrance, where visitors leave their cars and proceed on foot. Much of the museum's 230 acres are given over to accessible paths and trails across sometimes uneven terrain that lead to sculptures tucked into woodlands and sited in clearings. Seeing art at Glenstone is a meditative, almost monastic experience. Appropriately, Phifer's new 4,000-square-foot structure designed for a recent Serra sculpture will be approached by the Woodland Trail on the east edge of the property, melding into the landscape designed by Adam Greenspan of PWP Landscape Architecture. 

Image: The Boundary, courtesy of Glenstone Museum

While the renderings only depict the cubic concrete structure and its single portal from the outside, leaving people to their imaginations in terms of the actual sculpture and how it will interact with the architecture and be illuminated, the LX Pavilion in Bedford, New York, offers some clues. Designed by OLI Architecture and housing Serra's London Cross (2014), the LX Pavilion is similarly a minimalist cube, save portals providing access and sawtooth skylights admitting natural light. If Phifer and Serra depart from this logical approach remains to be seen — until spring/summer 2022, to be somewhat precise.

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