Museum Design Wins Award

CENTERBROOK, Conn. – Centerbrook’s design of the new Bellarmine Museum of Art at Fairfield University has received a Merit Award from the Connecticut Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Led by Partner Jim Childress, FAIA, Centerbrook was charged with transforming a basement used for storage and other utilitarian purposes into a bright and engaging museum for the university and its growing art collections.

Opened in 2010, the Bellarmine Museum features three distinct galleries, as well as spaces for staff, a classroom, and art storage and prep areas. It has drawn rave reviews from The New York Times, among others. The New York Times wrote that the design “required unconventional creativity” by the architects and quoted Emily Rafferty, President of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, “I think they’ve done a really splendid job. They’ve attended to every detail.”

Located in the modified Tudor and Gothic style mansion that houses the offices of the university president, the museum displays temporary exhibitions and houses the university’s collections, including Renaissance and Baroque paintings, plaster casts after Greco-Roman antiquities, non-Western art objects, and twenty pieces from the Celtic and Medieval periods that are on loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art/The Cloisters.

Stephen Holmes and Andrew Safran, both AIA and LEED AP, worked with Childress on the project. Centerbrook has won 349 design awards all told.