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Wesley Gallery project client

Chinati Foundation Wesley Gallery, Marfa

Chinati Foundation


Ford Powell & Carson Architects and Planners

design team contractor

John Gutzler; Tim Apgar Cook Construction Company


Don Ray (structural)


resources ing :

t e x a s

a r c h i t e c t

unit masonry wall assemblies : Featherlite; metal roof-

MBCI; custom door structure : R-B Welding; glass : USG; special

ceiling surfaces :


Andy Mattern, Artimbo

USG; plaster : El Rey Stucco; paints : Kelly Moore

An abandoned stable of crumbling adobe and concrete was converted to a permanent gallery. Preserving as much of the building as possible, walls, floor slabs, and roof structure were rebuilt. Mass walls were combined with an insulated and vented attic space. New aluminum louvers at gable ends are above heavy-dash plaster walls. Windows at south, west, and north walls were filled in leaving recesses to express the rhythm of their original locations. A new east porch with four new rotating wood and glass doors between columns create a balanced main facade. These doors bring light into the gallery and allow for access and ventilation. No artificial lighting is used. The thermal mass of the walls keeps the space tempered year-round. The floor plan uses portions of an existing wall to divide the building into one-quarter and three-quarter rooms. This creates an intimate entry area and one long wall for artwork opposite the natural light from the east doors. Emphasis was placed on respecting the historic scale and spatial proportions. The solution created a building that is subtle in detail, uses no power for lighting or conditioning, and does not upstage the artwork.

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