Van Straaten Gallery

This low cost transformation of 8,000 square feet of a factory building into an art gallery involved the design decision to forgo structural expressionism by encasing the closely spaced knee-braced posts of the existing structural system in thick walls which in turn created rooms for the display of art. These rooms were classically organized into a processional, spatial system with circulation on both the axis and cross axis. Reference to the sequential planning of traditional museum spaces was intentional, but the size was proportionately reduced to signify the scale of a gallery.

“Once seen, the little drawing of the space seems almost inevitable.  How could any other drawing record so perfectly the syncopated series of spaces?  The simplicity of the drawings, the minimal means – black ink and Zipatone – make this sheet so clear and precise it seems almost surreal, a quality greatly enhanced by the seemingly diminutive scale and random placement of openings.  How mysterious a world is created with such economy.  This is the kind of drawing that transcends its function of describing a space and justifies the exhibition of architectural drawings in a museum of fine arts.” — Bob Bruegmann, Inland Architect, May 1983