Moving the famous Barnes Foundation art collection from a Paul Cret–designed gallery in Merion, Pa., to a 93,000-square-foot building in Center City required the architects to honor the past while advancing the future of the Barnes. They succeeded with a tripartite building that houses the Collection Gallery—a 12,000-square-foot space replicating the scale, proportion, and configuration of the Merion galleries—as well as an L-shaped pavilion and a light court connecting the two. Layers of landscaping, including a series of public gardens, reference the original arboretum in Merion.
Jury: “Given the collection’s requirement for display in its original context, the architect cleverly placed the ‘old building’ within its overall solution.”
Client: “We’ve had many comments about how lovely the processional landscape is. It works exactly the way the architects intended, bringing a sense of calm into the center of the city. This project has been very successful in every dimension.” —Derek Gillman, executive director and president, Barnes Foundation