Sunday, December 7, 2008
Yale Center for British Art
The Yale Center for British Art, 1969-1974, was the last building of Louis Kahn and was completed after Kahn's death. The facade is constructed of matte steel and glass with visible timber blinds behind. The beautifully detailed interior finishes are travertine marble, white oak, and Belgian linen.
The plan is based on a 20-foot-square grid, which creates a linear series of rectangular gallery spaces arranged around two inner courts which, like the entire top floor, are naturally lit from above through a coffered skylight system. One court forming the entrance foyer and one a main three storey high gallery space with large paintings. The interior of the building is a calm, light-filled space. The exposed concrete structure with oak paneled inserts creates a rich materiality and reinforces the human scale of the gallery.