ABA has continued its work within the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston with two galleries on the second floor of the Behrakis Wing that houses the Museum’s Ancient World Collection. Most recently, ABA designed a gallery dedicated to Homer, Theater & Dionysus. ABA began with a detailed existing conditions analysis of the gallery and a chronology of changes made to them since they opened in 1907.
Previously one large gallery, the space is now divided by large floating glass cases supported by new decorative columns, creating three distinct exhibition areas focused on “Homer and the Epics,” “Dionysus and the Symposium”, and “Theater and Performance”. The new gallery arrangement provides a setting for a thematic narrative previously untold by the collection.
ABA developed a preservation approach for the historic windows, adding storm windows to the original 1909 steel windows to minimize minimizing solar and thermal impact on the collection. A new building systems infrastructure was added within the wing’s attic to provide cooling, adequate power, and fire protection for the entire second floor. Sensitivity toward equipment noise and visual impact on the extensive lay-light system were critical for infrastructure upgrades. Realigned gallery doors set up building axes previously not realized, enhancing circulation within the wing. Collaborating with the Museum’s curators and staff, ABA designed the space plan, integrated systems, and coordinated gallery casework.