Frederick Fisher and Partners Architects’ new addition for the Colby College Museum of Art is a modern glass volume that contrasts with the traditional Georgian Architecture of the campus. Called the Alford-Lunder Family Pavilion, the LEED silver addition will house $100 million worth of art inside its 26,000 square feet. The transparent building showcases the museum’s collection while juxtaposing it against the lushly planted campus outside.
Fisher designed the three story glass structure to “leak out into the environment,” infusing the rich collection of art to the entire campus. The addition stands like a glass prism, creating a new entrance to the existing building. Housing one of the most important collections of American Art, the transparent pavilion gives passersby teasers of what is inside, including a large scale work by Sol LeWitt and Cor-ten steel sculptures by Richard Serra that are visible from the outside of the building. Aluminum staircases run along the inside of the glass façade, revealing the hustle and bustle of visitor activity inside.
The transparent glazed glass also gives plenty of natural illumination to the collection housed inside, while also keeping the interior comfortable by blocking solar gain. Natural courtyards continue the indoor-outdoor connection, and provide shaded areas for visitors to lounge after several hours of enjoying the vast collection of art. The pavilion brings 10,000 square feet of exhibition space, class rooms, art storage and new offices for the Foundation and Photography departments.