The TMA Glass Pavilion

While home for the Holidays, I finally got to visit the Glass Pavilion at the Toledo Museum of Art.


Almost the entire structure is enclosed by glass walls — including the furnace area, as seen in the above photo. Not only is this furnace part of the University’s glass blowing program, but it’s also used four or five times daily for public glass blowing demonstrations. By watching these demonstrations, I think visitors gain a new appreciation for the amazing pieces on display in the gallery, some dating back to 400 BC. The woman who gave our demonstration said that she liked the new facilities although it took a while before she was used to the constant surveillance from museum visitors.


Reflections of reflections of reflections.


Each room in the pavilion is separated from the next by airspace that winds through the pavillion, extending from the outside of the building. In some instances, spaces aren’t completely sealed by a glass enclosure and at these points air is channeled into the building.

After reading so much about it earlier this year, it was great to finally experience SANAA’s building first hand. The building lived up to its many laudations, and the collection is amazing. i only with there were more contemporary pieces on display or maybe some site-specific commissioned pieces. More photos can be found at the Life Without Buildings flickr page.

2 Replies to “The TMA Glass Pavilion”

  1. The museum is in my home town, Toledo, Ohio. Sometimes called “The Glass City.”

    The airspace really is a pretty cool feature. Besides increasing the degrees of transparency and reflection, it also helps regulate the temperature inside the building.

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