Inside, a series of intimate galleries arranged in an “L” shape wrap around a grand, light filled atrium, with floating stairs. The monumental of the grand hall contrasts with the more intimate spaces of the individual galleries, linking the design to historic public architecture such as southern courthouses, grand hotels, and opera houses. While designed with heavy stone and structure to fit in with the surrounding district of historic buildings, the large windows and skylights of Goldring Hall create unexpected, contrasting light and open spaces. The darker gallery spaces were designed to wrap around this constant beacon of light. After dark, the entire building glows like a lantern, emitting a soft light out onto its urban setting, while a rooftop terrace offers a dramatic view of the city’s skyline.
The Stephen Goldring Hall, an addition to the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, houses the art collections, exhibition spaces, a museum store, art vault, administrative offices, and the Goldring-Woldenberg Institute for the Advancement of Southern Art and Culture. The building reflects the distinctive historic architecture of the surrounding Warehouse District.
The design process presented many challenges, including the need to unite the new Goldring Hall with the adjacent historic museum library. Rather than imitating the library’s design and construction, the design team developed a grid system for structural and spatial organization. The building is a simple box that reaches all the way to the street, with the main entrance set back from the sidewalk, creating the effect of a grand southern front porch. Contextually, the building materials reflect the sandstone and granite foundation of the historic library next door, and the overall height, along with the color of the new upper floors, was selected to relate to the neighboring structures, including the Contemporary Arts Center across the street.