Developed in collaboration with Jensen Architects and ARG Conservation Services, a meticulous renovation and conservation effort was completed by the Foundation in January of 2016 to create public access to the restored home and improve conditions for the art without altering the original spaces. A modest addition to the home now utilizes the full footprint of the property and provides new exhibition spaces, a study center and permanent archive for Ireland’s work, an adjacent outdoor terrace, and spaces to accommodate public events and activities related to a future artist-in-residency program—the heart of the project.
These elements extend the architectural language of Ireland’s work through a similar palette of materials while clearly delineating the new and original structures. The renovation also included the installation of an elevator in the home to provide more universal access to the second floor and basement levels. In collaboration with construction management firm Oliver & Company, Jensen Architects also reengineered the home’s existing foundation, seismically upgrading the structure and stabilizing the environment for Ireland’s installed spaces.
ARG Conservation Services, who recently completed the structural restoration of Coit Tower, completed a sensitive restoration of the home’s interior surfaces to their original appearance when Ireland completed his primary “maintenance action” on the home in 1978. ARG brought expertise in the philosophy and ethics of conserving vernacular architectural spaces and worked closely with the architect and contractor to assess vibration impact, clean and protect Ireland’s artworks, and conserve every interior feature, intervention, and piece of historical material altered by the artist’s hand—including testing various methods to restore the most accurate level of sheen to the high-gloss walls.
Additionally, the color of the home’s exterior was restored to its original ‘battleship grey’ using lead-free paint, and the iconic gold leaf signage on the front window and ‘500’ house number was returned to original condition.