Known for its art, science, and natural history exhibits, the Greenwich, Conn.–based Bruce Museum, is about to get a lot bigger. As part of a $60 million New Bruce campaign, construction on a $45 million renovation project began this month with the New Orleans–based firm Eskew+Dumez+Ripple leading the redesign to expand and improve the museum's existing facilities.
With the help of Chicago-based advisory practice Jones|Kroloff, The Bruce selected 2014 AIA Architecture Firm Award winner Eskew+Dumez+Ripple, which is known for its careful sensitivity to native places and communities in each of its projects. For the Bruce, the design team paid close attention to the New England geology and landscape: For part of the project's centerpiece, a new three-story William L. Richter Art Wing, the architects found inspiration in Connecticut's coastal quarries, incorporating cast stone and glass into the building's façade.
Although the exact construction timetable of the multi-part project is still in flux, the first phase is already underway: Eskew+Dumez+Ripple have planned the renovation and refurbishment of the museum's existing structure, which includes the original residence of Robert Moffat Bruce, which was built in 1853. Following his death, Bruce bequeathed his residence to the town of Greenwich as a public museum.
The second phase of the project, which is slated to begin in the summer of 2020, will encompass a 40,000-square-foot addition to the museum, creating 70,000 square feet of total space. The expansion will allow for new community and education spaces, as well as several new galleries for permanent and temporary exhibitions.
With $45 million for the design project, the Bruce has allocated the campaign budget's remaining $15 million to support to the museum's Endowment.