Thomas Phifer Corning Museum

Phifer's annex. Photograph by Iwan Baan.

At the Corning Museum of Glass in upstate New York, Thomas Phifer has fashioned a 100,000-square-foot annex, about a quarter of it devoted to a skylighted exhibition hall for contemporary work. For Phifer, a modernist architect in love with transparency and light, it’s a dream commission. Not since the Japanese firm SANAA’s Glass Pavilion for the Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio opened in 2006 has the vitreous been housed so lucidly.