Gallery: Renzo Piano’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Expansion Opens ...

 
A greenhouse walkway leads visitors from the new extension to the historic museum.

“This new wing is an extraordinarily elegant workshop, a bustling counterpoint to the historic building’s serenity. Here, the thinking and the work of the Museum is performed, so that the Palace, which had been put to uses for which it was not equipped, can once again give visitors the experience Isabella Stewart Gardner intended: a personal confrontation with art,” said Anne Hawley, Norma Jean Calderwood Director of the Museum.

Rather than add on or manipulate the existing museum, Renzo Piano and his team designed a set of facilities that would complement the historic palace and be placed off to the side. The expansion features four volumes clad in green pre-patinated copper and red brick that appear to “float” above the transparent first floor. Inside the new wing there is a cube-shaped performance hall, a special exhibitions gallery, a new restaurant, a gift shop, a landscape classroom, expanded outdoor garden spaces, two artist apartments, conservation labs, and a hands on art workshop.

Glass facades and skylights dominate the new facilities, which serve as a light and functional space compared to the heavy historic museum. The new wing frees up the historic building to fulfill its purpose as Isabella Gardner intended. Engineers from Buro Happold collaborated with Renzo Piano on the expansion, which is seeking LEED Gold certification. Buro Happold helped with many of the sustainability features, like a geothermal well system, daylight harvesting, water efficient landscaping techniques, and the use of local and regional materials. Significant rehabilitation of the existing palace was also completed, including structural stability enhancements, a new high performance skylight over the courtyard and new advanced lighting. The official ribbon cutting ceremony takes place on January 19th when it will be opened to the public.

+ Renzo Piano Building Workshop

+ Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Images ©Nic Lehoux courtesy of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

LEAVE A COMMENT

or your inhabitat account below

Let's make sure you're a real person:


get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
Federated Media Publishing - Home