Hill-Stead Museum Visitors Center
This new 7,000-square-foot Visitors Center at the Hill-Stead Museum adapts and preserves historic connected outbuildings which originally housed stables, carriages, automobiles, and farm equipment. Centerbrook preserved, rehabilitated, restored, reconstructed, and repaired historic elements in nearly every nook and cranny of the building.
Conceived by the pioneering early 20th century architect Theodate Pope Riddle, the 152-acre property houses her family’s furnishings and Impressionist art, including masterpieces by Monet, Degas, Picasso, and Whistler, as well as extensive pastures and gardens, partly designed by Beatrix Farrand.
The Visitors Center enhances the variety and quality of the visitor experience with indoor and outdoor amenities that respect the distinctiveness of Theodate Pope Riddle’s architecture. Importantly, the project expands Hill-Stead’s exhibit offerings with new galleries that meet museum-level standards for light, temperature, and humidity control. Upon arrival, there might appear to be few alterations; the sensitive yet dramatic transformations reveal themselves incrementally. Centerbrook took great care to integrate HVAC, life safety systems, new finishes, and glazing systems while preserving the building’s outward appearance.
“The key to this project was enhancing visitor reception and flexible exhibition spaces while respecting the distinctiveness of Theodate Pope Riddle’s architecture.” Chad Floyd, FAIA, Principal in Charge