Art can be best appreciated in an environment that is both minimal and infused with natural light. So, in order to make the most of their incredible French Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and early Modern art collections, The Barnes Foundation has moved into a bright and beautiful new building in Center City, Pennsylvania. Designed by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien Architects, the new museum is currently on track for LEED Platinum certification -- and judging by the cover, it looks it might make it!
Located in the city of Merion, Pennsylvania, the building was built to mirror the layout of its prior home. Consisting of large horizontal volumes, one on top of the other, the new design does do the old one better by turning itself into a meaner greener version. The new Barnes Foundation greets art-lovers with luscious greenery on its entrance door, which well complement white translucent glass and light granite exteriors. To meet its goal for LEED certification the plan of the building implements a green roof, the use of FSC certified wood and recycled materials, solar energy, and rainwater retention for in-house reuse.
The interiors are clean and uncluttered and allow visitors to appreciate the art with few visual interruptions. Flooded by natural light, Tod Williams & Billie Tsien created enclosed gardens within the gallery and plenty of seating space for breaks and appreciating the architecture.
Photo © Tod Williams & Billie Tsien