‘Into the Light’ - James Turrell Installation at MASS MoCA
North Adams, Mass.
Award of Merit
Owner: MASS MoCA
Lead Designer: Bruner Cott & Associates Inc.
General Contractor: Linbeck Group LLC
Subcontractors: Marek Brothers Systems Inc. (Drywall-Wood-Paint)
The nine installations at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art are artist James Turrell’s largest collection of publicly accessible experiential art. The main challenge for the design team was to house the nine installations, which came with the artist’s “pristine and intolerable construction requirements,” within MASS MoCA’s recently renovated 19th-century building, says the team. Building 6 has industrial heavy timber framing, load-bearing masonry walls and well-worn wood floors.
The installations represent significant works from each decade of Turrell’s more than 50-year career as an installation artist. The unique applications of light art each presented different construction challenges. One common challenge was satisfying the artist’s stringent standards for surface finishes and “knife edge” apertures, says the team.
Construction of the exhibit began before the Building 6 renovation was completed by a different team, which forced the exhibit construction team to share space with the renovation team.
The team’s early and close collaboration with MASS MoCA and Turrell’s studio helped them complete the installations in five months, one month early. MASS MoCA declined to disclose the project cost but said the work came innearly 15% below budget.
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