Vermont’s Shelburne Museum for the Arts’ new Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education is a light-filled addition to the museum’s beautiful campus. Designed by Ann Beha Architects of Boston, the cantilever building unifies an exhibition and education wing with a central lobby gallery. Clad with local timber and copper, the LEED applicant opened on August 18, 2013.
The new Pizzagalli Center is set on a lush hill, nestled between a series of historic buildings that flank the museum campus. Adjacent to the front of the glassy structure runs Vermont’s Route 7, a busy thoroughfare that can be seen from the entrance to the new building.
The center’s façade was designed using local granite, local timber, and copper, to mesh with the architectural character of the surrounding historic buildings. Floor-to-ceiling windows encase the perimeter of the building, flooding each exhibition space and classroom with natural lighting. The windows are made from high performance glass, which filters in light but blocks solar gain, keeping the interior naturally cool without the need for excess air conditioning. Inside, local slate, cedar and beech outfit the floors and walls. The center was designed to exceed LEED standards with utmost sustainability and energy efficiency.
Extending eaves cast deep shadows around each side of the center, with an expansive porch along the back side to encourage visitors to relax and take in the views of the Vermont landscape. The new bright center adds gorgeous exhibition space, while harmonizing with the land and existing historical structures on the Shelburne Museum’s campus.