George Knight, Principal of Knight Architecture, LLC
As part of the Graduate Student Symposium “A Beautiful Role: Architecture and the Display of Art,” Knight will describe his firm’s involvement in the Center’s building conservation project.
Described by Director Amy Meyers as “the largest and most complex work of art in the collection,” the Yale Center for British Art, designed by Louis I. Kahn to house Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift to Yale University, stands as a masterwork of architectural design. Construction of the Center was completed by 1975, and the building opened to the public in 1977. By 2002, when Amy Meyers was appointed director, the Center faced a host of infrastructural and programmatic pressures that threatened to irrevocably alter the character of the building. For example, the ever-expanding collection had outgrown the original provisions for its storage, conservation, curation, and administration; scholars, professors, and lecturers required augmented and technologically robust spaces to teach from the collection; and the ingenious building systems, exterior envelope, and interior finishes were fast approaching the end of their serviceable life or were in need of significant renewal.
Knight’s lecture will describe the measures taken to ensure that these demands could be addressed while protecting the architecture of the Center for the edification and delight of future generations.