The Clyfford Still Museum is dedicated to the life and art of 20th century abstract expressionist Clyfford Still and contains 94% of his entire body of work. Located in Denver, Colorado, the textured concrete and cantilevered building is itself built in honor of this artist's collection and seeks to educate visitors about the important painter. New York-based Allied Works Architecture designed the structure which makes use of a innovative skylight system on the roof to fill each gallery with natural daylight.
The new museum, which is entirely devoted to the works of Clyfford Still, was opened on November 18th, 2011. The 28,500-square-foot museum contains a collection that encompasses approximately 2,400 works created by Still from 1920 to 1980, the majority of which have never been exhibited, including 825 paintings, 1575 works on paper, three sculptures, archival materials such as letters, sketchbooks, and photographs. Inside, the two-story facility contains a conservation studio, collection storage, archive library, outdoor terraces and multiple galleries housing the works of Still.
Visitors approach the museum through a grove of trees and a landscaped forecourt, which provides a place of transition from the urban context into the museum’s surroundings. The exterior is a rich and textured pattern of thin, vertical lines of concrete that project from the building’s surface in a fractured, organic, and random pattern. A long low reception area welcomes visitors inside and then a beautifully handcrafted staircase leads up to the galleries. The nine galleries are all lit with natural daylighting created by skylights placed over a cast-in-place, perforated concrete ceiling. Movable shades on the skylights help control the light and the geometric concrete screen helps to create an even field of soft and changing daylight in the galleries.
Images ©Jeremy Bittermann courtesy of Allied Works Architecture