Tall Strips of Fir Wood Features the Façade of Wisconsins Art Preserve | Tres Birds | US

Tall Angled Strips Fir Wood Features

Wisconsin's Art Preserve- a 40 million dollar- new museum designed by the US firm Tres Birds Workshop, features a striking exterior with slanted strips of fir woods. Scheduled to open this June just outside of downtown Sheboygan, Wisconsin, it is described as the world's first museum dedicated to "art environments"- spaces formed by vernacular and self-taught artists, basically in their own homes and yards. The three-storey facility serves as a new satellite campus covering over 37,000-square-feet of dedicated exhibition space along with an education area, a library, and visible storage for the more than 25,0000 works held in the Arts Center's expansive collection. Read more about the project at SURFACES REPORTER (SR):


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Facade of Wisconsins Art Preserve

Denver-based architecture and design studio- Tres Birds Workshop- has used innovative way to highlight the building that is a part of the John Michael Kohler Arts Center- a non-profit center established in 1967 with support from the Kohler's of Kohler Company – the chief manufacturer of plumbing fixtures. 

Facade of Wisconsins Art PreserveThe museum was the idea of the Kohler Arts Center's longtime director, Ruth DeYoung Kohler II, who passed away in 2020 at 79. At the center, the works of more than 30 artists from all over the world displayed, including the rooms by Missippii artist Loy Bowlin covered in glitter, while it also contains the wood carvings by American folk artist Levi Fisher Ame.

Walk-in-the-Woods Approach

In this art centre, the architects used what they call a "walk-in-the-woods approach" to promote interaction between the artwork and the surrounding nature.

Facade of Wisconsins Art Preserve

"Engaging the landscape in its design, the building will feel as if it has grown organically out of the hill and meadow site," the team said. "Visitors will view the artworks with nature as a backdrop."

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The art center was slated to open to the public in Aug 2020 but delayed due to the pandemic. The construction work of the center started in May 2018.

Locally Sourced River Rock Adorns the Walls

The exterior façade of the Art Preserve consists of concrete panels- lots of which feature a collective built of locally sourced river rock.

Facade of Wisconsins Art PreserveThe floors, stairs and some walls in the interiors also have the same material.

Slanted Strips of Timber

The design studio has placed tall, slanted strips of timber that not only ties the building to its natural setting but also provides shade to the visitors

Facade of Wisconsins Art Preserve

Architects custom-designed glue-laminated boards of hemlock fir and Douglas that ranges in height from 14 to 62 feet.

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Facade of Wisconsins Art Preserve

"These 'timber shades' shield the collection from continuous, direct sunlight through the windows, while still providing directs view out to the trees, river and meadow from within the museum," the architects explained.

Interiors of the Museum

The museum consists of below and above grade spaces. Concrete walls feature hidden areas, while the outer levels have white walls and windows.

Facade of Wisconsins Art Preserve

There is a staircase at the center which connects all three levels. The walls of the vestibule are built of concrete masonry units.

Facade of Wisconsins Art PreserveThe natural light brightens up the stairs during the day.

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Facade of Wisconsins Art Preserve

"Colour differentiation within the courses of the blocks helps to map the topography of the building site," the team said.

About the Firm

Tres Birds Workshop is a Denver, Colorado-based architecture and interior design firm founded in the year 2020. The projects by the firm range from mixed-use developments and corporate headquarters to net-zero energy homes, museums and city parks.

Project Details:

Architecture Firm: Tres Birds
Exhibitions: Tres Birds in collaboration with John Michael Kohler Arts Center
Engineer: Arup
Photo Courtesy: James Florio
Info Courtesy: Tres Birds

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Facade of Wisconsins Art Preserve

Facade of Wisconsins Art Preserve

Facade of Wisconsins Art Preserve

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