The new Collections Wing is clad in clear-glazed red brick that references the masonry work of the original Eliel Saarinen building.
Above grade, the two volumes are connected via a thin joint of concrete block clad in galvanized metal. This joint hides the ductwork that feeds the new building. An interior passage between the old and new occurs below the stairs.
Eliel Saarinen’s original main galleries at the Cranbrook Museum of Art are newly renovated and climate-controlled.
At the east end of a ground-level gallery, a sliding metal door opens into the cool, cellarlike confines of the new Collections Wing.
Located at the rear of the complex, the system stretches through sub-basement corridors, up into the display areas, and across to the library.
The wing’s main corridor is flanked by art-bearing niches and heavy Sapele-wood-plank doors that lead to offices, collections areas, and a seminar room. The ceiling is lined by the wire-and-aluminum ganglia of the massive HVAC system.