The Connecticut museum is a community based institution highlighting art, science and natural history and it is now underway with a multiphase renovation and expansion of the existing museum’s exhibit galleries and support spaces. The multi-phased expansion will add education and community spaces and will significantly expand its space for permanent and temporary installations of art, science and natural history exhibitions. The centerpiece of the New Bruce is a three storey addition that will be integrated with the current structure while connecting the project to its adjacent park setting.
The design vision for the project ties the building to the landscape and to the unique geology of its New England context. Drawing inspiration from stone quarries found along the Connecticut coast, the design features a delicately striated façade of cast stone and glass that will be animated by the play of light across the building, changing appearance with the weather and time of day. The design orients the new entrance to face Bruce Park, connecting the project to the community while drawing the landscape in to create a light court in the centre of the museum.
The Museum launched the public phase of a transformative, $60m capital campaign in support of this multi-phase expansion and renovation project. The first phase renovating and revitalising the existing structure, includes a private residence built in 1853 and deeded by Robert Moffat Bruce to the Town of Greenwich for use as “a natural history, historical, and art museum for the use and benefit of the public.”
The second phase of the project entails a 40,000 sq ft addition, more than doubling the existing size of the Museum while providing expanded collection storage, permanent and changing art gallery space, and a new public entrance lobby, cafe and lecture hall for Museum and community use.
The museum has remained open for the public but only for a few months to allow the building’s interior and installation of the galleries to be completed; expansion and renovation is expected to be finalised in time for the museum’s official reopening in the fall of 2022.