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Talking about the future of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery

Author: Charlie Gordon of Charles Gordon Architecture

Albright Knox leadership is continuing to gather public input as they contemplate a momentous opportunity for the Gallery—its first significant expansion initiative in more than 50 years. This public outreach will help inform a Future Vision, a vision A-K leaders can use to define the challenges for whomever Architect –led team is ultimately selected to lead the design of a world class expansion to an already world class Art Gallery.

Public outreach has already helped A-K determine a number of issues key to creating a world class project. To date these issues have been expressed largely as Narrative.

My colleagues Ben Siegel, Robert Bradfield and myself have decided to “jump into the fray” by depicting these issues, together with some of their ramifications, in an easy to understand graphic format. Their purpose is to give people as clear an understanding as possible how one might interpret /translate issues onto the current A-K Campus setting.

Our exercise here is not to design the expansion; rather we are trying to interpret, in graphic form, the important issues the public has expressed to date. Important issues we have heard so far include:

  • Expand significantly the current Gallery space program, including at least double the current exhibit space
  • Preserve Historic Legacy – both buildings and Olmstedian landscape
  • Create a significant ”WOW“ factor – NEW FRONT DOOR
  • Expand interactive social spaces potential
  • Improve back of house support facilities; and especially create a state of art Service Entry on a campus where there is no real “back door”
  • Expand parking in a way that minimizes disturbance to historic Olmsted landscape
  • Understand neighborhood context— residential neighbors to the South, historic Delaware Park outside the East front, and Buffalo State – Burchfield Penney across the street

The Graphics below, with some accompanying text, should speak for themselves, so here goes:






















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