Houston, Texas, USA
Schaum/Shieh have revived 11 historic Donald Judd buildings for the Judd Foundation that were recently recognized by the USA’s National Register of Historic Places due to their architectural and cultural significance.
Exceptionally maintained and made publicly accessible by the Chinati Foundation and the Judd Foundation, Judd’s buildings in the historic Hispanic community include the John Chamberlain Building, named after the American sculptor, which has recently reopened after a restoration by Schaum/Shieh.
Exceptionally maintained and made publicly accessible by the Chinati Foundation and the Judd Foundation, Judd’s buildings in the Historic Hispanic Community include the John Chamberlain Building, named after the American sculptor, which has recently reopened after a restoration by Schaum/Shieh architects.
Originally a 1940s wool and mohair warehouse, this Donald Judd building was adapted by the artist into a gallery space dedicated to Chamberlain’s work and first opened to the public in 1983.
When Schaum/Shieh architects took over this project, much of the structure had deteriorated as it was ravaged by high desert winds.
The structure needed reinforcement so the company began a study period with engineers and archivists to devise techniques for restoring the original building.
“We knew we had to take special care in a restoration that didn’t lose the ‘as found’ character of the historic building when we stitched the pieces back together,” says Troy Schaum, co-founder of Schaum/Shieh.
The architects after thorough research of drawings and models were able to reduce the layers of Judd’s own interventions to the original structure.
“Remarkable is the great effort Judd went to adapt and work on this building; his use of selective erasing to construct alignments from the existing body. You can see that very clearly if you study historical photos of the building before he bought it,” says architect Rosalyne Shieh.
The architects worked closely with Texas construction company JC Stoddard Construction, a firm known for its renovation of the historic Alamo mission, on the project.
The result is a long, low-lying building with a two-tier roof and a restored facade that caps the building on one side.
The roof is replaced and structurally reinforced, and new skylights are installed to enhance the light quality of the galleries.
On the exterior, the Judd-designed Sotol Garden is repaired and restored, while the building’s landing is re-landscaped with access ramps, in accordance with Americans with Disabilities Act standards.
Fourteen of Judd’s “2 over 2” windows and pivot doors were also precisely reconstructed – this time with the addition of a concealed steel frame integrated so they could be operated after being closed for decades.
Made of pinewood and treated with turpentine and linseed oil to give a unique patina, these Marfa-specific windows embody the spirit that underlines the entire restoration.
Project: Donald Judd Building Restoration
Lead Architects: Troy Schaum, Rosalyne Shieh
Designer Team: Tucker Douglas, Andrea Brennan, Zhiyi Chen, and Giorgio Angelini
Engineering: SGH Engineering
Landscape Architect: Jim Martinez & Associates
Construction: JC Stoddard Construction
Client: Judd Foundation
Photgraphers: Alex Marks