New Corning Museum of Glass


Ralph Appelbaum Associates

Practice Area


Corning Museum of Glass

Project Vision

New Corning Museum of Glass: Phase III

This project challenged the designer to bring the diverse elements of a large corporate entity into focus by unifying stories of the science and industry of glassmaking with the museum’s ongoing traditions of glass collecting and community involvement. The Glass Museum provides the broadest and most accessible history and experience on the subject in the world.

The strategy for the Regional Visitors Center was to design a simple, elegant environment that provides visitors not only with a taste of the region but also with a user-friendly information-gathering and tour-planning system. A central feature of the design is a logical, iconic navigational system that integrates interactive computer triptik stations, a large regional map embedded with a flat-screen video monitor, tourist brochures, and a staffed tourist information desk. The Steuben Gallery creates a context of clarity and preciousness that clearly differentiates it from the retail area on the level below. Interpretive text is silk-screened on floor-to-ceiling translucent glass graphic panels. Both the casework and the graphics system are moveable and reconfigurable so a wide variety of exhibits can be easily accommodated.

As the museum’s holdings have grown, the collection required a new interpretation and organization, better lighting, and safer environmental conditions. The designer’s strategy was to provide clarity and structure to the visitor experience through a design that is guiding, yet non-intrusive, and to display a world-class collection at its best while integrating and enhancing the existing architecture.

Project Details
The enormous density and complexity of information presented runs the danger of confusing – even overwhelming – the viewer. This installation makes me want to spend hours looking at and reading about glass and the many forms this ancient but high-tech material takes.
Juror 1
There's something glass-like about this presentation; I applaud its restraint. The copper wire vs. fiber optic comparison is powerful.
Juror 2
Design Team

Ralph Appelbaum (Principal in Charge), Jack Pascarosa, Rick Sobel, Jessica Holbrook, John Locasio, Nancy Hoerner, Sylvia Juran, T. Kevin Sayama, Nadia Coen, Tzyh-Yuan Sun, Merton Wu, Allegra Burnette, Tim Ventimiglia

Design Firm

Ralph Appelbaum Associates


Maltbie Associates, Exhibitus, Inc.