location: Salt Point, New York / USA
Architects: HHF architects + Ai Weiwei
Design team: HERLACH HARTMANN FROMMENWILER & AI WEIWEI with Tom Strub, Fumiko Takahama
Structural engineering: Crawford & Associates, Hudson, NY
Construction management: Crawford & Associates, Hudson, NY
Photos: Iwan Baan
Client: Christophe W. Mao / Chambers Fine Art
Built area: 373m² / 4015 sqft (gross)
Cost: € 250’000
Design phase (beginning and ending month, year): August ’06 - February ‘07
Construction phase (beginning and ending month, year): March ‘07 - June ‘08
Maximum height of the building from ground level: 5.8m
Minimum and maximum temperatures of the site: -25°C to +45°C
Artfarm by HHF Architects
text by Pascal Panagiotidis for Yatzer
A farm is basically an area of land devoted primarily to the practice of producing and managing food. Well at least until now... Forget anything you knew so far because now there is a farm which is producing and managing Art. The Artfarm is a gallery concept where professional art collections are exposed to the public. The Artfarm is a gallery designed by the Swiss architectural firm, HHF architects and located in upstate New York, on the site of a private residence. The white shiny PVC bat insulation creates a tranquil and cool space in the interior which is subdivided into different sized showrooms and spaces designated to store art. The outer shape is a consequence of the used pre-engineered and easy to assemble type of steel building, which often gets used for agricultural purposes in that area. With its abstract metallic appearance the structure becomes an equal member of a whole group of sculptures which are spread out in the landscape.
text by HHF Architects
The Artfarm is located near Salt Point in upstate New York (1.5h drive from the City), on the site of an existing private residence, built in the 80ies. The client is an art collector and owner of Chambers Fine Art, a well known gallery located in New York City and Beijing and which is specialized in contemporary chinese art.
The building is designed as a gallery for a professional art collection. On the interior it’s subdivided into different sized showrooms, an office space and spaces designated to store art.
The outer shape is a consequence of the used pre-engineered and easy to assemble type of steel building, which often gets used for agricultural purposes in that area. With ist abstract metallic appearance the structure becomes an equal member of a whole groupe of sculptures which are spread out in the landscape. The three volumes are put on a solid concrete slabs, which follow the existing grade on the site. The different levels are connected through a continues cascading ramp in the middle axis. This middle hallway with its ramp works as access for all spaces, allows an easy way of exchanging big pieces of art between storage and showrooms and works at the same time as a picture gallery.
Approaching the Artfarm building from outside you don’t know what’s expecting you on the inside. Even though there are only three windows existing to the north (and the end of each hall, above the middle ramp, this is the only visual connection to the outside and allows a view into the wood), the building with its pure white interiors is astonishing bright on the inside. The massive concrete floor and the white shiny PVC batt insulation are creating a quiet and cool space. For delicate goods such as paintings etc. consistent indoor temperatures are needed, which is a challenge in an area with such enourmous change in temperatures.
With the concept of an hermetic closed and insulated envelope, the existing heating and cooling needs only to conserve the climate and support it when needed. This seems to work well, during the first summer the cooling had never to be turned on, even on really hot days it was comfortable and cool on the inside.