Publicly Accessible Buildings

07 November 2012
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    The Yale University Art Gallery expansion completes Ennead Architect’s comprehensive renovation of the Gallery, which serves as both the University’s teaching museum and a major public museum. The design weaves together three buildings and a rooftop addition. Each of the existing buildings—the Ruskinian Gothic Street Hall (1865), the Florentine neo-Gothic Old Yale Art Gallery (1928), and the iconic Louis Kahn Building (1953; renovated in 2006) – has a distinct architectural identity, but together they form a cohesive new whole that meets the programmatic and space needs for exhibition of more of the permanent collection as well as academic instruction within the Gallery. The design redresses existing shortcomings that resulted from the iterative growth of the complex over years. The variety of spaces and experiences in the newly created three-building continuum has enabled the Gallery’s director and curatorial staff to organize the collections in a logical and continuous sequence in spaces that complement and enhance the art they contain. The renovation of the Kahn Building restored many features of the original design and upgraded outmoded systems, and revealed spacious. The interiors of Street Hall, the first university art school building in the United States, have been restored, including the preservation and reuse of historic architectural elements and finishes. The thermal performance of the exterior walls and windows of the two older buildings has been upgraded, new mechanical systems provide greater temperature and humidity control, and the historic masonry façades of both buildings have been restored. Further reinforcing the integration of the buildings, the new rooftop structure links the Old Art Gallery to the fourth floor of the Kahn Building and provides a suite of new special-exhibition spaces.

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