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Corning Museum of Glass 

Photographer: Scott Frances 

Architect/Designer: Thomas Phifer

Client: Thomas Phifer and Partners

Location: Corning, NY

Shoot Date: 
October 04, 2016 
The Corning Museum of Glass Contemporary Art + Design Wing provides 100,000 square feet of new space, including 26,000 square feet of spacious light-filled galleries for its collection of contemporary works in glass, as well as one of the world’s largest facilities for glassblowing demonstrations and live glass design sessions.

The new gallery building—which is the largest space anywhere dedicated to the presentation of contemporary art in glass—features skylighting with a sophisticated light-filtering system that is integrated with the structural roof beams. Inside, the works of art are displayed largely independent of the curvilinear plaster walls, encouraging circulation and allowing contemplation of larger works in glass. The gallery experience is punctuated by a 150-foot-long window that provides views to the campus green and reorients the visitor to the larger landscape.

The clean white glass façade of the new contemporary gallery building is juxtaposed with the black exterior of the restored Steuben Glass factory building. The simple exterior glass surfaces are white, contemporary and almost devoid of detail. They frame and honor the works inside much like a vitrine. Because the exterior glass is lightly frosted, both from the inside and the outside, the layer of glass is a surface, not a transparency. Thomas Phifer and Partners sought to reveal the beauty of glass, as a simple surface, beginning with the outside layer of the building as it simultaneously reflects the light, holds the light, and absorbs nature. This building is a distilled container for glass and light; a place that serves the art. (Thomas Phifer and Partners) 
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