Centerbrook expanded and restored the historic Addison Gallery of American Art, designed in 1930 by Charles Platt. The Gallery is located on the campus of Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts and houses one of the most important collections of American art in the country, highlighted by the works of George Bellows, John Singleton Copley, Thomas Eakins, Winslow Homer, Georgia O'Keeffe, and Jackson Pollock. This first expansion in the institution’s 79-year history includes a new Museum Learning Center.
Centerbrook garnered an AIA New England Merit Award for the project as well as a Citation for Design from the Boston Society of Architects. The project was favorably reviewed in the Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe, and Design New England magazine.
The public was welcomed back with a special exhibition of the Addison collection that acknowledges the transformative and respectful nature of the 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 Addison is a jewel among museums – and after much devoted and often difficult work – the jewel has been reset,” said Brian T. Allen, the Mary Stripp & R. Crosby Kemper Director of the Addison.
The 13,770-square-foot, three-story expansion adds a progressive presence to the historic building. It takes the form of an elegant glass box sheathed in stainless steel mesh that sits 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 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 a new art library. The second floor consolidates museum offices, which had been scattered throughout the Platt building, into a single location.
Photography © Jeff Goldberg/Esto