As Kahn Intended

The new media lounge in the gallery's lobby, designed by Joel Sanders, is a flexible space where students can work and relax. The furniture can be easily stowed away when the gallery hosts events. A remote-controlled media screen (at left) rolls out of the L-shaped black cabinet for multimedia presentations.

A building plan reveals its symmetry as well as Kahn's notion of distinct "served" and "servant" spaces. The servant core of the building houses the two stairwells, the elevator, restrooms, and closets. Although Kahn's style differs starkly from the older gallery buildings, Kahn was mindful of their scale and proportions.

The 1928 Swartout Building was supposed to have extended down Chapel Street. The recess in Kahn's façade honors that original design, which called for a central entry portico.

The west window wall of the gallery. As early as the building's first winter, the window walls were beset by interior condensation and rust. "It started to effloresce between the [two] panes, sort of like a greenhouse," says gallery director Jock Reynolds.

A section through the building-with the floor slab in the middle and windows top and bottom-shows the old system (near right) and the new one (far right), which has a thermal break and a sealant joint that contracts and expands with the metal.

Kahn's design for the pogo walls stipulated 5-foot-by-10- foot display panels with small feet at the top and bottom for easy moving. Not long after the gallery opened, however, staff put up more-permanent barriers that carved up the rooms and blocked light.

The new pogo walls conform to the dimensions of the originals but weigh less and are sturdier.

Capping the cylindrical stairwell is a triangular concrete slab, proof of Kahn's growing interest in monumentality and the power of geometric forms.

The Polshek Partnership team included (above, left to right) Lloyd DesBrisay, Duncan Hazard, Charmian Place, Steven Peppas, and Gary Anderson.

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