George Eastman House extension (2007)
building proposal

During the mid-twentieth century the estate of Kodak founder George Eastman became home to one of the most significant collections of American photographs. In 1989, with the collection overflowing the historic mansion, an annex, which has since been deemed a functional and aesthetic failure by its occupants, was built to expand the facility. This proposal establishes a large new gallery that provides display space and research facilities as well as room for the collection to continue to expand at its projected rate for another fifty years.

The heart of this project is the representation of the collection as a single precious object standing almost independently within the building, which itself then becomes a museum case. The archive prism, connected to the rest of the building by way of scaffold-like catwalks, contains storage space and workrooms for light- and temperature-sensitive operations as well as vertical circulation.

Gallery space on the uppermost floor is accessed by a series of escalators and moving ramps which allow visitors to view and appreciate the prism from multiple vantage points and readily intuit its independent nature.