Founded in 1979, the Aspen Art Museum (AAM) is a non-collecting museum for contemporary art located in Aspen. It is one of only four art institutions in Colorado accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. The Aspen Art Museum moved from its former location to the new building in the center of Aspen which houses its travelling exhibition program.
The new Aspen Art Museum building includes three levels above ground and one level below ground containing art gallery spaces, storage, administrative offices, education and lecture areas, artist studios, retail, café, and a rooftop sculpture garden. Glazed facades allow a connection to the dramatic landscapes of the Rocky Mountains, and yet the galleries are maintained at stringent indoor climate conditions required for the often sensitive artwork.
The project‘s goals, to produce a world class exhibition space with minimum environmental impacts, was achieved through a number of strategies. First of all a high-performance building envelope was important to reduce space conditioning demands and provide thermally comfortable spaces. The integration of daylighting as well as natural ventilation for all areas other than galleries, further reduced the energy associated with artificial lighting as well as mechanical ventilation.
In addition, the remaining space conditioning requirements were met through highly efficient mechanical and energy systems. Geothermal and PV provided thermal energy and electricity to the museum, while radiant heating and cooling, as well as a dedicated outdoor air system efficiently provided the desired indoor environmental conditions. Maintaining these conditions for gallery spaces was also accomplished through strategic zoning of programming and the inclusion of thermal buffer zones into the layout of the building.