Shelburne Museum is one of North America’s finest, most diverse and unconventional museums of art, design and Americana. Over 150,000 works are exhibited in a remarkable setting of 39 exhibition buildings, 25 of which are historic.
Ann Beha Architects’ design for the new Center for Art and Education establishes a striking presence along Vermont’s Route 7 (Shelburne Road). Adding to the resources at the Museum’s entry, this contemporary new building showcases collections and serves new educational initiatives. With its companions—the entry / shop building and historic round barn—the ensemble frames a gateway to the Museum experience. The new Center will play a critical role in promoting audience engagement, interpretation, and special exhibitions and will be the Museum’s first building to accommodate year-round programming. The design is an extended volume of two interlocking elements—the exhibition galleries at one end and the classroom and auditorium at the other—joined by a welcoming light-filled lobby that serves as a reception space and additional gallery. A strong horizontal façade is oriented towards Route 7 and the outer campus edge, while its inner campus face offers a long porch with views of the Adirondacks and the Ticonderoga, the Museum’s historic side wheel steamer. On the main floor, the upper galleries are lit from lay-lights and clerestories and a 130-seat, flat-floored auditorium will be used for gatherings and programs. The auditorium will open onto the porch, while the lower galleries and an art studio / classroom open to an outdoor activities terrace.
The groundbreaking for the new Center for Art and Education was held on May 16, 2012.