December 15, 2008
The Star City Shines a Little Brighter
Randall Stout designs a new museum for Roanoke, Virginia.
An 88-foot-tall neon sculpture that sits atop Roanoke’s Mill Mountain gives Virginia’s fourth-largest metropolis its nickname, the Star City of the South. As of last month, there’s another piece of architecture that would lay claim to the glow of the sobriquet. Randall Stout, a Los Angeles–based architect and onetime Gehry protégé, recently completed the Taubman Museum of Art, an 81,000-square-foot building that is more than a little indebted to Libeskinian angularity and Gehry-esque flow. It’s not Stout’s first museum (he also designed an extension of the Hunter Museum of American Art, in Chattanooga), but, formally at least, it’s a fairly radical addition to an architecturally staid city in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
There are a few sustainable elements—low-E glass, a good amount of natural daylight, some local materials—but, alas, no LEED certification. Among the inaugural exhibitions are Rethinking Landscape, which surveys contemporary landscape photography, and In the Cataclysmic Calm, a show (no, it’s not a volume of contemporary free verse) on the making of the building itself. More photos after the jump.
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The museum’s forms are a pointed gesture to the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains.
The Gehry-esque features are clad in zinc panels.
The 77-foot-high atrium is the heart of the three-story museum and gives the building plentiful daylight.
A peek of the facade is visible from inside a gallery.
Top photo, Randall Stout Architects; other photos, Timothy Hursley; all images courtesy the Taubman Museum of Art