As part of his encyclopedic collection of American industry and ingenuity, Henry Ford transported this machine shop from New England to this site within the Liberty Craftworks at Greenfield Village, where it houses the museum’s glass gallery. JCDA’s renewal of the building articulates the site, connecting the gallery entrance to the hot shop by rotating the vestibule to face it.
Embodying the recently expanded collection’s combination of art glass and industrial glass, the vestibule’s large structural glass castings reference the building’s masonry structure and use of optical glass commonly used in the 19th century, such as Luxfer sidewalk prisms and glass roof tiles such as the ones at the Greenfield Village, Thomas Edisdon’s Menlo Park Glass House.
The gallery interior layers monochromatic wall and ceiling treatments over the existing structure, transforming the gallery space is into a muted jewel box. At the back of the building, a new punched opening brings in daylight to help naturally illuminate the glassworks on display. The simple expression of the space and its structure highlights the color and brilliance of the glass collection.
The gallery’s blend of art, science, and technological innovation embraces the notion of glass as a medium for creative expression allied with the technical developments of industrial production.
Client: Henry Ford Museum
Architect: Quinn Evans Architects
Engineer: Schlaich Bergermann and Partner / Beckett & Raeder