This project is a 29,000 sf addition to the museum complex of Colby College in Maine. After receiving a gift of 500 works of American Art from a prominent collector, new galleries and support spaces were needed. FFP was asked to resolve a complex master planning challenge that included a 10,000 SF gallery expansion for this collection, enhanced clarity of circulation through the museum, improved connectivity to the campus, and integrated expanded administration, education, art storage/handling and art studios. The addition reconceives the lobby as a day lit sculpture gallery and event space with views and access to sculpture terraces on two sides. The project is LEED Silver Rated.
Our design for the project dramatically reinvents the character of the museum, simultaneously creating an iconic presence for the museum on campus while respecting the architectural heritage of the college. A simple 3-story glass pavilion establishes a new identity for the museum as a distinct institution within the college. While the glass pavilion departs from the existing campus Federal Style aesthetic, it literally reflects its brick neighbors and the constantly changing colors of the sky and seasonal changes of the landscape. The building is literally and figuratively “about looking”, a latent reference to Maine’s plein air painting tradition and to the study and making of art that occurs within. It expresses the ethos of the arts on campus, the light of inspiration, reflection of our environment and change.