Observation Deck at Bessyodake
Massive planar walls of architectural concrete boldly express the Modern’s basic structure while protecting the collection within. Forty-foot-high transparent walls of glass framed in metal surround the concrete envelope, providing magnificent public circulation areas from which to view the surrounding building, the large reflecting pond, outdoor sculpture, and the landscaped grounds. The desire to use diffused and reflected natural light within the gallery spaces was a major influence on the building’s design. Immense cantilevered cast-concrete roofs shade the building’s exterior and accommodate the introduction of natural light into the gallery spaces by supporting sophisticated systems of continuous linear skylights and clerestory windows. Supporting the concrete roof slabs are five forty-foot-tall concrete Y-shaped columns.