Expanded, Renovated Addison Gallery to Open

Published on June 21st, 2010

The Addison Gallery of American Art, housing an acclaimed collection highlighted by the likes of Winslow Homer, Georgia O'Keeffe, and Jackson Pollock, will reopen its doors to the public on September 7 after an eighteen-month renovation and expansion. Centerbrook Architects designed an addition and extensive renovations to the 79-year-old building, which is part of the campus of Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts.

The public will be welcomed back with a special exhibition titled “Inside, Outside, Upstairs, Downstairs: The Addison Anew” displaying more than 300 historical and contemporary art objects from the museum’s collections. The exhibition acknowledges the transformative and respectful nature of the Addison’s newly completed restoration, which returned original gallery spaces to their former use, restored the main entrance rotunda and its celebrated Paul Manship fountain, and installed new climate control, security, and lighting systems throughout the building.

The 13,770-square-foot, three-story expansion adds a progressive presence to the historic Addison. It takes the form of an elegant glass box sheathed in stainless steel mesh sitting atop a masonry base defined by a simple brick wall. The juxtaposition of this restrained yet bold new structure against Charles Platt’s elegant 1930 Classical Revival building makes the extent of the historic museum clear while invigorating it with a strong contemporary expression now standing alongside. The new structure’s horizontal brick wall and simplicity of form help it mediate between Platt's building and the adjacent 1963 Elson Arts Center, designed by Benjamin Thompson of The Architects’ Collaborative.

The ground floor of the expansion houses back-of-the-house spaces, including exhibition preparation facilities and a new loading dock. A new Museum Learning Center on the first floor provides a well-equipped facility where students and visiting scholars can study the collection, attend lectures, and have access to the Addison’s art library. The second floor consolidates museum offices, now scattered throughout the Platt building, into a single location.

Chad Floyd, FAIA, was the Centerbrook partner in charge of the design, and Ed Keagle, AIA, was the project manager.