Yale Center for British Arts | New Haven, CT
Updated: Feb 16
The Design Strategy for the Yale Center for British Art focused on one primary goal: to protect the original architectural vision of Louis Kahn. Preservation architects unearthed historical details that allowed the meshing of the prominent designer and his collaborators. The galleries, as they rise floor upon floor, sparkle where glorious natural light pours in. The Long Gallery on the fourth floor was converted from a series of blocked-off units to a single gorgeous stretch of salon-style exhibition space. Even the sheep required for the thousands of square yards of undyed wool carpet had to be professionally evaluated. The design team traveled to the UK where they could assess the sheep in the fields. The noticeable pinkish hue of the wool was ardently rejected. It was New Zealand sheep that finally provided the color and texture of the wool originally specified by Kahn. This pristine carpet contrasts nicely with the gray textured concrete columns emanating strength throughout the building. The entire Yale Center for British Art has the feel of “an English gentleman’s club that has been hijacked for artistic purposes”, a refreshing reminder that the building itself is truly a work of art.