Shelburne Museum, renowned for its collection and its 45-acre campus of historic architecture, opened the new Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education on August 18, 2013. Designed by Ann Beha Architects of Boston, the Center sets a clear 21st century direction within its historic setting.
The building’s massing interlocks two elements: the exhibition galleries and the education studio and auditorium, joined by a central lobby gallery. The design responds to two settings - one facing Vermont’s busy Route 7; the other facing the enclave of historic buildings. The view from Route 7 announces the Museum with clarity.
The campus side, with its extended porch, is set low to respect scale and offer panoramic views. A mix of wood, copper and stone establishes a contemporary dialogue with the building’s historic companions. The façade is clad with wide board cedar, expanses of high performance glass, and local granite. Horizontal roof overhangs are copper with cedar soffits. Interior materials include Vermont slate, cedar, and local beech flooring.
The Center is designed to exceed LEED standards. Pressure on spatial versatility and simplicity, tight net to gross square foot, limited lot coverage, integration of operations, pathways and vistas shaped the approach and required modeling of every implication. The Center's 82% net to gross is remarkably efficient, setting a standard for disciplined design.