The Holburn Museum in Bath, England recently opened a new wing that adds a contemporary dimension to the original 18th century Georgian Building. The daylit wing sits gracefully amid the classical landscape while bridging the centuries with its contemporary aesthetic. Eric Parry Architects designed the new wing to be completely transparent at the ground level and opaque at the top, where a gallery sits wrapped in a ceramic façade. The museum's eclectic collection ranges from pop art like the Beatles' Sargent Pepper album cover to classical objects and paintings, and it will now be presented to the public in a hybrid building that is as unique as its contents.
The new wing and is tucked directly behind the restored Georgian era mansion, and its scale mimics the classic proportions of the original estate. The design, however, diverges dramatically with its boxy facade composed of glass and black ceramic. The building’s facade transforms completely from the winged opaque top gallery to the glass-walled ground floor café.
Ceramic fins wrap the upper levels, which hold the main gallery. The facade subtly transitions at the second level with a wrap-around low-iron glass screen. The double skin of glass and ceramic tile controls heat and light. The bottom floor, which hold the café, is essentially a glass box that melts into the extensive garden adjacent to the museum.
Photos © Helene Binet