East Building, National Gallery of Art--page 1 (of three pages)

I. M. Pei

Please note that the images on these 3 pages were taken at two different times--in 1990 and in 2002.

The West facade

This addition to the National Gallery is located on a trapezoidal site, bordered by the Mall to the south, Pennsylvania Avenue to the north, and the original building to the west. The trapezoidal plan is divided into two parts, one an isosceles triangle for the public and exhibition space and a smaller right triangle (at the far right) for the Center for Advanced Study of the Visual Arts. Higher galleries are at each point of the isosceles triangle--seen on each side of the entrance and in the center
Pei attempted to associate the new building with the original building. Both are in the same Tennessee marble and in the same scale. The same longitudinal axis extends through the exhibition space of the new building and a plaza connects the two buildings (seen above).

The West entrance and the famous 19 degree corner

The smaller right triangle, the 19 degree corner of which repeats the angle formed by Pennsylvania Avenue and the Mall, is seen at the center below and in the rows below. The Center for Advanced Study of the Visual Arts contains a library, photographic archives, space for staff and educational functions.

Views from the southwest (the Mall side) of the Center for Advanced Study of the Visual Arts

Although the building is sometimes criticized for fitting the trapezoidal site in an exaggerated way (leading to excessive angularity), visitors cannot resist touching this narrow angle.

Continue to page 2.

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© 2003 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.

Page created by Mary Ann Sullivan