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In the early 70s, contemporaneous with the Transfer Warehouse going dark, the Council for Arts and Humanities emerged as the first non-profit in the region. For over 40 years, the organization has been an incubator and champion for arts and culture. Now called Telluride Arts, its mission has not changed, but the landscape has. The global spotlight renders the organization more critical than ever as a Kunsthalle: a place to mount exhibits, hold symposia, be entertained, think critically, and exchange ideas. It needs of a variety of programmed spaces to serve its community and to invite a broader cultural discourse. This proposal acknowledges that Architecture plays a central role in the transformation of the institution: as a museum, a place of congregation, a community center – a place of physical flexibility, and intellectual openness.

By inserting a new enclosure within the hull of stone walls one experiences the liminal space that serves as a threshold between the historic shell and the gallery spaces above. A rotation of the new enclosure within the old structure locks the intervention into the logic of the windows, engaging views back towards Bridal Veil Falls and Trico Peak to the east, the ski resort trails to the south, the valley and San Miguel River to the west, and Mount Emma to the north. The space in-between the insertion and the shell creates circulatory channels running east-west, giving the ascent to the gallery space a gentle rise, and enabling an architectural meandering promenade. Vertical canyons form between the old and the new, drawing in natural daylight, bathing the stone walls, and reflecting light into the lower spaces.

The main ethic of this intervention is the respect of the stone walls, but functional attributes must be brought to the shell so that it does not fall into obsolescence. An elevator and stair core are essential for accessibility and safety.  Out of respect for visual corridors that are framed by Pacific and First Streets, a new core is added along the back alley. Sculpted to reflect the public cones of vision, the elevator head house and stair produce an elevated “butte” in the southwest corner of the roof.  A topographical figure, this copper clad hummock is seen only from a distance, as a silhouette against the mountainous skyline. From the inside out, the new promenade passes by the existing windows, using the vertical rise in the liminal spaces to amplify the relationship between daylight and framed views. 

The second floor loft has a divisible Gallery, uninterrupted by columns. The heart of the space within the space, the Gallery is both a work and show space.

Lower level programs include the Screening Room and the Vault, a gallery for traveling exhibits, installation, and work space. When connected, the spaces accommodate seating for 250. Entirely open to above, the Vault connects visually to the Great Hall, for large events. Also located on the lower level are Offices, Kitchen, Bathrooms, and Storage.

As a crowning moment, the attic space, called the “Table” is accessed from the main stair. As a space of viewing, it exemplifies the idea of the building as a framing device of the landscape. The Table inhabits the topographic space of the roof, while opening a view corridor east towards Bridal Veil Falls. Adjacent is a roof deck than opens up onto the box canyon, effectively cropping out the immediate context to amplify the sublime nature of the mountains, the stars and the silence of the night sky.


Nader Tehrani; Katherine Faulkner, AIA; Tom Beresford; Nick Safley; Amin Tadjsoleiman; Mark Wang; Luisel Zayas; Alex Diaz; Nicole Sakr; Ergys Hoxha

Collaborators: Silman Engineers; FRONT Inc.; Tanssolar; Cumming


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