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Museum-Quality Daylighting™ On Exhibit In Sacramento

  Subscribe to FREE newsletter  Jun 07, 2011

It took well over a century for the museum to acquire the roughly 14,000 holdings that include Early California art, Old Master drawings, and Asian pieces. In 1872, Edwin Crocker renovated an existing structure into a Victorian Italianate mansion for his family and built a gallery in matching style next door to display his expanding art collection. The gallery was certainly eclectic, with a bowling alley, skating rink, and billiard room on the ground level; a natural history museum and library one flight up; and, finally, exhibition space on the second floor. But it was the beginning of what would eventually become the world-renowned Crocker Art Museum.

However, by the year 2000, the building's 45,000 square feet were cramped. The Crocker was too small to handle its own art, let alone offer the changing and touring exhibit galleries, educational programs, auditorium, onsite care and conservation lab, office and art storage space, café and museum store, lobby, public meeting rooms, and 7,000-square-foot courtyard that make it the world-class art museum it is today. According to addition/renovation architect Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects of New York, New York, “The compositional strategy of the addition and renovation was to establish a new and unique iconic presence for the addition, while framing the existing complex in a visual and physical dynamic, creating a collaged image for both the new and historic structures.”

The architect set the monitor skylights daylighting the new third-floor galleries into the roof at a sharp angle, creating a dramatic sawtooth profile when viewed from outside. Inside, as with all Kalwall, the Kalwall+ Nanogel provides glare-free, balanced daylighting free of harsh shadows and offering true and accurate color rendition, a concept critical to an art museum. UV-stable over time, Kalwall also filters out these damaging rays, protecting both the interior space and the often-priceless objects within. Kalwall+ Nanogel is the most highly insulating system available, equal to that of a solid wall (0.05 Btu/hr/ft²/°F or 0.3 W/m²K). The 1,800 square feet at Crocker achieve a U-factor of .05 while still offering a 22 percent light transmission rate. This reduces artificial lighting and HVAC expenses year round, preserving precious dollars for art acquisition and preservation. Kalwall+ Nanogel also improves acoustic performance (up to 35 STC), minimizing unwanted noise.

Adding modern design elements to an older structure can be fraught with controversy. But the Crocker's new bold, rounded, and futuristic 21st century forms connect and even harmonize beautifully with its more delicate, traditional, 19th century ones. Now four times its original size, the museum also offers four times more space for traveling exhibitions and a threefold increase in exhibit areas for its still-growing permanent collection. Kalwall+ Nanogel brings controlled, UV-filtered, natural daylight into galleries that previously may have had to stay dark and hard to view in order to protect the precious art inside. And it has played a huge role in making today's Crocker Art Museum one of the leading art museums in the country.

Crocker Art Museum
Sacramento, CA
Architect: Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects
Photos by Bruce Damonte Photography

Kalwall Specifications:
Kalwall Skyroof®: 1,800 square feet (167 square meters)
U-factor: 0.05 Kalwall+ aerogel
Light Transmission: 22%
Interior face: .045 Crystal Type 25
Exterior face: .070 Crystal SW

For more information, contact:
Bruce Keller
Kalwall Corporation 603-627-3861 (800-258-9777 N. America)

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