Resembling a modern temple, Chipperfield’s new wing stands in contradistinction to the Museum’s original building, a limestone and brick structure designed in 1904 by Cass Gilbert for the Worlds Fair. To be sheathed in black polished concrete panels, the building will have an open plan and naturally lit interior spaces, provided by skylights and expansive floor to ceiling windows. Below the building, will be located a 300 space parking garage. As part of the expansion project, improvements will also be made to the original museum building to update the galleries and to clarify circulation.
Commenting on the addition and its contribution to the museum at large, Museum Director Brent R. Benjamin said: “Over the past 125 years, strategic acquisitions by the Museum and magnificent gifts from local benefactors have created a collection that places the Museum among the top 10 comprehensive art museums in the country. David Chipperfield’s design pays thoughtful and elegant homage to Cass Gilbert while creating gracious new spaces to house the Museum’s extraordinary holdings.”