Garrison, New York, USA

Studio Joseph’s Russel & Mary Wright Design Gallery is a structure that echoes the geometry and materiality of Russel Wright’s pieces while conferring the critical role of the living world in his work.

The Russel & Mary Wright Design Gallery project received a 2022 International Architecture Prize from the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and the European Center for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.

The architects embrace Wright’s design genius, unifying a pragmatic approach to delivering content with an organic, formal language, inviting visitors to delve into 20th-century American design, the forces that shaped it, and the interconnectedness nature, art and design.

A muted palette highlights the colors and materials of her designs and simultaneously complements the tones of the home.

Dense assemblages of objects, drawn from the collection, represent decades of exploration of form, color and pattern.

This swirl of objects, furniture and textiles is highlighted by the glass wall of the exhibition space, positioning the display firmly against a backdrop of nature, art and design.

Studio Joseph's Russel & Mary Wright Design Gallery

As the only permanent, in-depth public exhibit of the Wrights’ product designs, the Russel Wright Design Center in Manitoga, Wright’s home and studio, is an installation of more than 200 objects that chronicles how the Wrights forged a modern american lifestyle. through groundbreaking designs for everyday household items.

The gentle curvature of the gallery installation – on a domestic scale and constructed in the warm-toned natural materials found at the rural site – echoes the geometry and materiality of many of Wright’s designs.

A large display table centers the gallery with an instructional timeline of signature work. The three boundary walls offer a more purely visual approach based on themes of color, form and pattern.

The entire display frame is constructed from natural split hewn oak. The architects have hidden all the fixings for the assembly, so there is no visual interference with the objects. Interpretation is informative but minimal.

Printed on a transparent or translucent substrate, the graphic labels are background elements in conversation with Wright’s designs.

Warm LED lighting creates a soft glow that works with northern light streaming through a newly installed glass wall assembly.

Studio Joseph's Russel & Mary Wright Design Gallery

For audiences familiar with Wright’s work, the gallery adds a rich layer of interpretation to his creations.

For those new to his work, the exhibit conveys the relationship between objects Wright designed for everyday use and the architecture and landscape of Manitoga.

For all, the space showcases exemplary American design and the forces that shaped it.

Landscape has always been an integral part of Wright’s design vision. From inside the gallery, visitors overlook the quarry pond, keeping nature front and center and emphasizing the essential role flora plays in its design. From wood, the architects see the gallery entirely nestled in the house.

Project: The Russel & Mary Wright Design Gallery
Architects: Studio Joseph
Manufacturer: Southside Design and Manufacturing
Client: Manitoba / The Russel Wright Design Center
Photographers: Michael Biondo


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