In New York’s Hudson Valley, museum and research center Magazzino Italian Art will be opening a Alberto Campo Baeza and Miguel Quismondo–designed Robert Olnick Pavilion on September 14. Magazzino focuses on postwar and contemporary Italian Art, making it the only museum to do so in the U.S.
Since 2017, Magazzino has been housed in a 20,000-square-foot building designed by Spanish architect Miguel Quismondo. In 2020, Magazzino announced plans for the additional 13,000-square-feet of exhibition space with the Campo Baeza expansion, which Quismondo is also working on. The institution sits on 9.5 acres in Cold Spring that includes a stable of Sardinian donkeys.
The pavilion was designed as a rectangular prism. It is set into a sloping landscape, with additional height at one end. In addition to two gallery spaces, the pavilion includes a multipurpose room that can serve as an auditorium, and a cafe and store. One gallery will be devoted to “Italian decorative arts, Murano glass, ceramics, and jewelry.”
The second gallery, in the wing with the extended ceiling, was designed by Campo Baeza as an “isotropic room.” Set within a perfect cube, square windows set in the room’s corners permit natural light, creating a “sundial” effect throughout the day.
In a statement, Campo Baeza said: “We built the Robert Olnick Pavilion like a poem: a white cube traversed by light. The main space will embody the beauty of the artwork it exhibits, and with an isotropic design that carves an opening into every corner, each detail will be touched by magnificent sunlight. Not unlike the excitement of birth, it is with great anticipation that we deliver this second building to the museum.”
Throughout the pavilion, concrete finishes and white walls will curate an environment Magazzino desires for its art, and in-line with Campo Baeza’s portfolio. Shaped by carefully punctured windows, the reliance on natural light to fill the concrete-cast spaces gives the feeling of a garage, and while important for the preservation of the artwork itself, retains the galleries as a place to view art rather than to photograph the surrounding landscape through a more glass-forward approach.
The pavilion will open with Mario Schifano: The Rise of the ‘60s, curated by Alberto Salvadori and offering an 80-work retrospective on the postmodernist’s work, and Carlo Scarpa: Timeless Masterpieces, curated by Marino Barovier and including a selection of Murano glass designed by Scarpa from 1926 to 1942. The pavilion will also open with a special project, Ettore Spalletti. Parole di colore, a presentation of Spalletti’s large-scale work as conceived by Fondazione Ettore Spalletti, Salvadori, and Campo Baeza.
Elsewhere in the U.S., Campo Baeza is also working on a commercial building in Miami Beach, and previously designed the residence of Magazzino cofounders Nancy Olnick and Giorgio Spanu with Quismondo.