Environments A2: Step 3
I started my documentation of the Miller Gallery by visiting it. I’ve been before, but usually I spend a minimal amount of time on the first floor before heading up to the larger second and third floor galleries. Because our project prompt focuses on the first floor, I took photos and took note of various things I visited while I was there. I also took many measurements that I used later in my floor plans and plan to use later in designing the exhibit.
The Miller Gallery has a “low-key” presence outside. When talking to many people about the gallery around campus, a lot of people don’t even know it exists, so I think it could greatly expand its outside appearance.
I walked through two sets of double doors and then entered one fairly large room.
The room is split with a few wall dividers. One of the first things I noticed, as I was passing through the door, was that the temperature/quality of light created a very distinct threshold. The outside light is cooler in temperature and is much brighter. However, as I stepped further inside the space, the light became warmer and less bright due to the artificial lighting installed. It almost creates a gradient.
A front desk greets visitors, and I noted that there was signage that served as an introduction to the gallery. It had a panel about each exhibition, as well as more general information about the general gallery (such as admission, hours, etc).
I, along with the other visitors in the museum, flowed through the space in a oval pattern, from left to right (when facing the museum desk).
The first space is a corner next to the front desk. It’s open, so people easily flow in and out. Usually, people went to this corner first, and then went into the larger gallery behind the dividers, or they skipped this space and went straight into the back gallery.
The back gallery is the largest space by far. It has two openings, and the back contains two large sliding doors, but they aren’t current in use. The walls are painted white/off-white.
I took note a few small but important things in the gallery.
The lighting is very even and adequate for a space of this size. It’s soft, and because the lighting is angled towards the walls, the pieces on the wall receive optimum lighting.
The flooring is a dark, tiled stone. Natural differences in the color from tile to tile give the flooring texture. I was a bit surprised to find this material, because most museums either have hardwood flooring, or a less textured, more subtle material used as flooring.
I measured the various signs, placards, and pieces mounted on the wall to see how high they were.
The pieces were all centered vertically, meaning that their centers shared a consistent height. I found this height to be around 64 inches (a little over five feet).
TV height (bottom edge): 50 inches
Book stand: 38 inches
Glass stand: 33 inches
Panels behind the front desk (at bottom edge): 60 inches
Placards (centered vertically): 56 inches
There seemed to be two separate mounting heights. Items that were mounted on a flat surface that were meant to be looked down upon were located on tables/stands around 35 inches above the ground.
Items that were meant to be looked on straight-on on the wall were mounted with a vertical center around 5 feet. The panels behind the front desk were mounted higher, because they needed to be visible behind the front desk.
Floor Plan and Elevations
To create floor plans, I used Adobe Illustrator and CADTools using measurements sourced from my visit to the gallery. I checked some measurements with my classmates.
Using CadTools, I created blank elevations of the walls. Each elevation corresponds to the wall labels on the floor plan.
Here is a 3D SketchUp model from the Miller Gallery’s Website: