Art lovers hoping to escape the hustle and bustle of the city can find respite at the Dia: Beacon Museum, a tranquil getaway that's just a quick train ride upstate along the Hudson River. Formerly a Nabisco box printing factory, the cavernous building has been transformed into one of the largest museums in the world. Offering 240,000 square feet of exhibition space to explore, the museum is also largely day-lit by rows and rows of existing skylights and windows.
The original factory was built on the shores of the Hudson River by the National Biscuit Company in 1929 to serve as their box printing facility. In 2003, the Dia Foundation took over the space, hiring artist Robert Irwin and design firm OpenOffice to help transform the utilitarian structure into a premier exhibition space for large scale art from the 1960s to the present. Each area of the factory was separated and designed to showcase one site-related collection by a single artist.
Ample skylights in almost every space reflect north light directly into the galleries, bathing the art in sunlight. The reflected light creates enough illumination without any need for additional lighting during the day, saving the museum on energy costs while also offering a unique way to view the art inside.
Largely made up of Minimalist works, the museum’s collection features large scale art by artists such as Richard Serra, Michael Heizer, On Kawara, Sol le Witt, Agness Martin and Andy Warhol, which feel at home in its cavernous exhibition spaces. The open plan complex, which is a five minute walk from the Metro-North train station, also rests on 31 acres of rolling grass and gardens for visitors to enjoy.
Images ©Lori Zimmer for Inhabitat
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