Designed to provide visitors of all ages with tools to assist them in understanding the design process of the building's architect, this exhibit space was conceived as an alternative to traditional art museums by allowing visitors to be hands- and minds-on, rather than passive viewers of art. The strong geometric qualities of the Gallery, trapezoidal in shape, necessitated exhibit structures that were simple and independent. Within these structures, interactive exhibits communicate the museum's philosophy while the structures themselves and their graphics mimic qualities of the building. One important quality is the interplay of light and time, a strong architectural theme. Internal lighting and natural light, together with graphics strategically applied to translucent materials, created an ever-changing environment throughout the day.
The playfulness and layering qualities of architect Steven Holl's designs and his fondness for the unexpected are reflected throughout the Gallery graphics. Random, bold graphic symbols, architectural ideas and quotes envelop the three exhibits clusters, inviting visitors to better understand the architectural process and, particularly, the motivation and inspiration behind Steven Holl's design of the Bellevue Art Museum.
"This clean, transparent environment reveals the architect's process and use of materials. Nice typography with complimentary use of imagery and beautiful saturation of color. This room allows the visitor room to breathe and explore."
Bill Smith (Principal in Charge), Bill Smith, Liz Chalkley, Tim Halloran