Our State: Celebrating North Carolina

Asheville’s NEW AESTHETIC

FOR WEEKS, anticipation heightened around the reopening of the Asheville Art Museum. In the middle of downtown, at Pack Square, the temporary fencing around the building was finally coming down after an extensive two-year renovation. At the unveiling — one year ago this month — a striking new landscape emerged: The restored, three-story 1926 Renaissance Revival building, pristine in white Georgia marble, now abuts a perpendicular facade of glass. Above a soaring atrium, the floating SECU Collection Hall juts out from the building’s north face, clad in perforated backlit metal, with a floor-to-ceiling window, “The Oculus,” that looks out over the city. It’s a captivating sight, especially after the sun goes down, when LED lights shine through the matrix-like pattern — a nod to the ideas of randomness once explored nearby at the trailblazing Black Mountain College.

During the day, caught from the right angle, the glass reflects its surroundings: a massive globe installation in the entry courtyard, the towering new Hotel Arras, Biltmore’s I.M. Pei-designed headquarters, and

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