Publicly Accessible Buildings

Historic gallery gets modern polish-up

Centerbrook Architects expands and restores historic Addison Gallery

by Eugenie H. Devine, Mgr. PR, Centerbrook Architects and Planners 17 November 2008
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    Centerbrook Architects is expanding and restoring the historic Addison Gallery of American Art, located on the campus of Phillips Academy. Designed in 1930 by Charles Platt, the Gallery has one of the most important collections of American art in the United States.

    Centerbrook’s design work on the existing structure will restore the exterior skin and the interior spaces while seamlessly introducing modern systems of climate control, security, and lighting. Offices now intermingled with galleries will be moved into a new expansion, thus returning Platt’s galleries to their original configuration.

    Centerbrook’s expansion will add a progressive presence next to the historic Addison in the form of an elegant glass box sheathed in stainless steel mesh sitting atop a masonry base defined by a simple brick wall. The expansion mediates between Platt’s building and the adjacent Elson Arts Center, designed by The Architects Collaborative in 1963.

    The ground floor of the expansion houses back of house spaces, including exhibition preparation and a new loading dock. A Museum Learning Center on the first floor will provide facilities where students and visiting scholars can study the collection and attend lectures. The second floor consolidates offices now scattered throughout the Platt building into a single location.

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