Quinn Evans Architects + James Carpenter Design Associates Inc. The Henry Ford Glass Gallery

This 3,300-sf building renovation is a celebration of glass. Inspired by the art glass pieces housed within the space, the design team converted a defunct machine shop into a transparent jewel box of a gallery. Located on the campus of a large living history museum, the glass gallery’s design creates a modern counterpoint to the surrounding historic buildings and supports the museum’s mission by demonstrating the versatility of glass as a medium.

A new cast glass vestibule beckons visitors to the building, creating a glowing beacon announcing the entrance to the gallery. This impressive expression of glass craftsmanship intersects the existing building at an angle, presenting a head-on plane to visitors approaching from the adjacent “hot shop” where historical interpreters conduct glassblowing demonstrations. Composed of cast glass blocks supported by custom steel brackets, the vestibule contrasts with the existing building and punctuates the rhythm of the surrounding historic structures.