EXTERIOR, KRUIZENGA ART MUSEUM,
C CONCEPT DESIGN/PETER BASSO ASSOCIATES
The Kruizenga Art Museum (KAM) at Hope College
in Holland, Michigan, by Netherlands-based architect
C Concept Design has a saw-toothed granite exterior
that traces a double-leaf-shaped, 1400 sq m floor plan.
The KAM’s facade comprises flat, segmented panels of
flame-cut, Cambrian Black granite along the curved
perimeter, which overlap to form pleats.
Lighting designer Darko Banfic of Peter Basso
Associates explains that in order ‘to emphasise the
horizontal curves of the walls, the team opted to
contour the vertical elements that made up those
walls’. Banfic initially considered using continuous
lines of light spanning the full height of each panel,
but abandoned this idea – partly due to cost, but
also because it could appear ‘too harsh, obvious, and
possibly dated’. He also considered using in-ground
uplights but decided that they, too, were excessively
expensive and relatively high maintenance. In the
end, he chose the visually softer, more cost-effective
solution of integrating 18cm-diameter, cylindrical,
landscape-style, adjustable, LED narrow spotlights
within the facade.
To maintain consistent brightness all around, the
lights are mounted to the wall bracing near the
bottom rather than the ground itself. Tucked between
the overlapping pleats and aimed upward, they graze
the back panels with vertical light, leaving the front
edge of each in silhouette. The light gradually softens
and dies off towards the top of the building, but
nevertheless highlights a small cornice, celebrating
the height of the structure and emphasising the
natural qualities of the granite. The stone, quarried in
Quebec, contrasts with the predominantly red brick
collegiate architecture of the surrounding campus.
Banfic wanted to maintain the clean, obstruction-free appearance of the facade surrounding the main
entrance, opting to use an illuminated hand-rail
system with asymmetrical light distribution.
The building opened in September 2015 as a teaching
museum. Its shape, inspired by an artist’s palette and
the curved walls of the Guggenheim in New York,
employs a ‘double lung’ layout with one gallery for
Hope’s permanent collection and another hosting
rotating and travelling exhibitions.