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Turn Park Art Space

West Stockbridge, Massachusetts
Opened May 2017

The stairs that lead to the building’s roof are made of steel and glass to allow light through.
Photo: Dan Karp
Courtesy Grigori Fateyev/Art Forms Architecture

Turn Park, an old quarry turned sculpture park, is full of delightful surprises. The entrance to this creative complex for art, architecture, and landscape design features a seemingly simple white stucco building called the Gate House. Crossing this threshold, however, reveals a layered set of openings and passages. The open-air entryway is flanked by an art gallery on one side and a café-visitors center on the other. Look up to the ceiling and you’ll see that a narrow cleft divides these two spaces with an interstitial gap opening to the sky.

In the bright white art gallery, your attention is again drawn upward, where diagonal bars of light are recessed into the ceiling. The far wall is interrupted by short steel treads that cleverly guide you back outside to discover a stairway intersecting the wall. Follow the staircase up to the roof terrace, and you’ll find another inviting threshold: a glass bridge spanning the cleft buildings offering a view of the marble stone pavers below. Literal and phenomenal transparency collide in this enchanting detail. But the adventure has just begun. From here, a white path made of crushed marble and limestone meanders over the curving green rooftop and crosses into the undulating hills of the property.

As a repurposed quarry, this 16-acre park features a small lake adjacent to a 60-foot cliff. Various knolls, crags, fields, and patches of forest have been landscaped into distinct rooms that beg to be explored. A diverse collection of sculptures punctuates these spaces. Some merge landscape and architecture, such as Puerto, by Gene Montez Flores, a velvety rusted steel gateway wedged in a small ravine. The weight and solidity of this sculpture stand in direct contrast to the shimmering curtain of reflective Mylar blowing in the aspen grove across the field. This temporary installation by artist-in-residence Michail Igoshin exemplifies the experimental nature of the park. Programming includes not only temporary and permanent exhibitions but also summer pop-up theater, musical performances, art classes, film screenings, and workshops for children.

Figurative sculptures by Russian artist Nikolai Silis can be found throughout the property. His surrealistic and curvilinear motifs have inspired both the design and concept of the park. A prominent sculpture of Don Quixote, set in the meadow near the entrance, signifies the hopeful adventurer and his pursuit of the fantastic.

Indeed, a utopian reverie permeates Turn Park. Its founders, Igor Gomberg and Katya Brezgunova, worked with architects Alexander Konstantinov and Moscow-based Ekaterina Vlasenko to develop their vision, which was then realized in collaboration with Art Forms Architecture, led by Grigori Fateyev. The resulting art space is an exquisite example of adaptive reuse, one that breathes new life into the abandoned quarry of West Stockbridge. From the twisting paths that transport you over, around, under, and through differing spaces, to the wooden toys left out on tables near the café, Turn Park encourages the imagination to mingle and merge with the environment.

The spot at the entrance where two portions of the structure come together
Photo: Dmitry Gomberg
Courtesy Grigori Fateyev/Art Forms Architecture