Project

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Thompson Exhibition Building

Centerbrook Architects and Planners

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Centerbrook, Centerbrook Architects & Planners


Project Name

Thompson Exhibition Building

Location

75 Greenmanville Ave.




06355

Project Status

Built

Year Completed

2016

Size

21,681 sq. feet

Client/Owner

Mystic Seaport


Team

  • Chad Floyd, FAIA
  • Charles G. Mueller, AIA, ALA

Consultants

  • Construction Manager: A/Z Corporation
  • Mechanical Engineer: Kohler Ronan
  • Structural Engineer: DeStefano & Chamberlain Inc.
  • Lighting Designer: George Sexton Associates
  • Landscape Architect: Kent + Frost Landscape Architecture
  • Civil Engineer: Stadia Engineering Associates
  • Other: P.R. Sherman Inc.


Type

Cultural

Style

Modern

View all (12) images

Project Description

The Thompson Exhibition Building was designed for Mystic Seaport, Museum of America and the Sea, as a keynote building for the 19-acre riverfront campus. The project’s mission was to transform the north end of the Seaport to greatly enhance the quality of exhibition space and to offer a more robust year-round experience for visitors.

The building is located where the Seaport’s previous indoor-oriented exhibit spaces were concentrated, and forms the new Donald C. McGraw Gallery Quadrangle. This sociable greensward, with a panoramic view of the Mystic River, provides an appealing venue for activities ranging from outdoor concerts to impromptu picnics.

In addition to a 5,000-square- foot exhibition gallery with a high ceiling for displaying boats, the building features visitor reception and events space, a retail shop, a café and outdoor terraces overlooking the Mystic River. Energy-efficient components and geothermal heating and cooling are also incorporated in the design.

The flexible exhibition space features soaring ceilings and demountable walls to accommodate objects of varying size and installations of all types, from watercraft to priceless works of fine art and gallery-based educational programs. A riverfront gathering room graces the west side of the building and can be reconfigured for conferences, additional gallery space, or educational programs, adding to the new building’s versatility.

The Thompson Exhibition Building incorporates a wraparound deck that allows visitors to enjoy the riverside setting and serve as a covered overlook to the Quadrangle green.

The structure’s asymmetrically curving roof and end walls recall nautical themes while also establishing a contemporary architectural presence amid a recreated 19th century maritime village. Site development also opens views of the Mystic River from Greenmanville Avenue.

Mystic Seaport, the Museum of America and the Sea, was founded in 1929 and is the home to the Charles W. Morgan, the nation’s last remaining wooden whaling ship.
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