The Studio G Team recently visited the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum’s new addition, designed by prize-winning architect Renzo Piano. The $118 million project opened in January 2012 and includes new exhibition and performance spaces, offices, apartments, visitor orientation and education rooms, as well as a greenhouse and gardens.
Staff members agreed that the outing was “Inspiring and educational,” with highlights including the greenhouse, theatre and primary staircase. The stair, which acts as a spatial connector, anchors the existing building and links the new addition. It also serves as a strong focal point and way-finding device, helping visitors navigate through the building intuitively. As we explored the addition, several staffers admired the layers of transparency created by materials with varying opacities, allowing public and private programs to be elegantly veiled or revealed as required.
The team was also extremely grateful to witness a rehearsal in the new theatre. As one Job Captain remarked of the impressive acoustics, “The sound truly makes the space come alive.” In general, many felt that the project respectfully complements the existing site, and as one staff member stated, “Renzo Piano took the mission of the old building and interpreted it in contemporary terms…I think Isabella would approve!”
For more information, please visit: http://buildingproject.gardnermuseum.org/