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Entering from the exhibition gallery into the museum shop, we formulate an entrance situation through an in between zone, a transit space, known as a knee space. One becomes aware that one has entered a different setting, due to difference in room proportions between the gallery and the knee space. At this point the shop space with its very high ceiling and the long perspective view, opens up.

Working with this perspective, the entering visitor sees a compound vision of vertical and horizontal panels, which’s purpose, is to filter the lateral natural and artificial light. The light through the complexity of the thin panels is producing a “sfumato” effect. One main thought for the shop architecture is to frame and isolate the contained objects displayed. The public enters into the space and its light, then, when approaching, their attention will be directed at the object for sale.

AAS is working with the architectonic of the existing space. The room is a long extruded rectangle with a high ceiling and one long side wall letting natural light in. The shop is constructed based on the mentioned attributes. The shop has been divided into three zones, each using distinctive materials. The different materials correspond with the lighting, which creates an interaction between the surfaces, influencing the perception of the visitors.

The space has three big scale furniture elements, which formulate the space: A monumental wall shelf for books and products, vertical legs structure the space, thus filtering the light by reflection. A serpentine middle island contains various partitions. Vertical plates structure the island. It absorbs the light through its translucent material.

A cafe lounge area, redeveloped along the natural light. It reflects the light but also the movement and view to the covered courtyard by its mirror finish. The lighting continuously follows the axis of the space until it penetrates the suspended mezzanine. Here, the vanishing point is reversed by gradual dimming from light tube to darker tube. At the end of the light row the last and dimmest light ends inside of the suspended platform terminating the pattern of reduction of light.

The wall along the light line, fades from white to ‘medium grey’, which contributes to this degradation of brightness along with the light tubes. The studio is immerged in a dark atmosphere. The darker atmosphere of the suspended room provides different functions, such as an education area or a multimedia gallery. Inside of the suspended mezzanine are two ceiling-high glass walls. The one facing the shop works as projection screen for videos, and as information area.

The projection is visible from inside or outside of the space. The projection glass is developed with a strong rough matt surface, which is not clearly recognizable as glass. The other glass is a window into the gallery space. This glass is visible from the gallery as a white and frameless surface, installed flush with the wall. From inside of the mezzanine, a multilayered glass is specially developed to stop the light passing through the glass into the gallery space – essentially creating an abstract, white, translucent surface.

Designed by Atelier Architecture & Scenography

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