Corning Museum of Glass

The Contemporary Art + Design Wing links three generations of glass architecture over 60 years on a 10-acre campus. The new wing includes a new 26,000-square-foot contemporary art gallery, the largest space anywhere dedicated to the presentation of contemporary art in glass. Adjacent to the gallery is a renovated historic glass factory ventilator building that contains one of the world’s largest facilities for glassblowing demonstrations and live glass design sessions.

The gallery building utilizes natural lighting from diffusing skylights as the primary lighting source during daytime hours. The daylighting sets a new standard for how contemporary works in glass are displayed. The luminous all-glass gallery building is juxtaposed against the black metal exterior of the adjacent ventilator building. The space, which can be entered through the new contemporary gallery, accommodates 500 people through retractable banked seating, and features a gallery-level balcony running around the perimeter of the venue that offers 360-degree views of the glassmaking below.

The hot glass show equipment is housed in a sophisticated exhaust air enclosure to ensure removal of heat and to provide a comfortable work environment for the glass artists working with their 2300 ̊F medium. Make-up air and exhaust air are calibrated to maintain a maximum enclosure temperature. Cooling for the project is provided by two magnetic drive chillers utilizing well water for heat rejection and variable speed drives to achieve a very high operating efficiency. The 56 ̊F well water is utilized in two passes, the first through air handling unit precool coils and the second through the chiller condensers. Air systems serving the galleries use the gallery walls as conduits for horizontal air delivery at the top of the 20-foot high curving walls. Heating and cooling are supplemented at the gallery perimeter with a radiant floor heating and cooling system.

Images: Featured image – James Ewing. Additional images – Michael Freliech/Altieri

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Location: Corning, New York

Completion Date: 2015

Architects: Thomas Phifer and Partners

Awards: Most Innovative Project Under $100M - Architectural Engineering Integration, 2020 AEI Professional Project Award; AIA Award - Interior Architecture 2020; LEED Silver 2016

Altieri Services: MEPF