A museum that houses a massive private collection of contemporary artwork will be expanding into its second building on a site nestled in a Maryland neighborhood.
New York-based Thomas Phifer and Partners has designed a 150,000-square-foot complex for Glenstone
, a not-for-profit art museum founded by billionaire industrialist Mitchell Rales and his wife, Emily Wei Rales. At a cost of approximately $125 million, according to The New York Times
, construction is expected to start this summer and be completed in 2016.
The museum has been open to the public on an appointment-only basis since 2006. Exhibitions are curated from Glenstone’s collection of post-World War II paintings, sculptures, and works on paper, and feature artists such as Willem de Kooning, Ellsworth Kelly, and Jackson Pollock, as well as more contemporary artists working today.
The late architect Charles Gwathmey designed Glenstone’s original 23,000-square-foot stone building in 2006, which features 9,000 square-feet of gallery space. Located on a sprawling 200-acre site in Potomac, Maryland, the grounds also are home to several large outdoor sculptures. The Phifer building will be a short walk from the Gwathmey building.
Phifer and his team met with each of the living artists that will be exhibited, and have designed exhibition pavilions tailored to specific artwork of each artist. The Phifer building features a series of pavilions that are designed to appear to be embedded in the rise of the land, and all but one will face inward toward a central water courtyard. Exterior walls will be composed of six-feet long blocks of cast concrete, and glass windows as large as 30-feet tall will rest in stainless steal frames. The ceiling and floor will be made of poured-in-place concrete, and cedar will be used for the interior floors, walls, and ceiling of the Reading Room. The expansion will also include a cedar Arrival Pavilion and Café Pavilion.
Special thought has been given to the visitor’s arrival experience. Guests will leave their cars in a parking area and be greeted by Glenstone staff at the Arrival Pavilion. To access the museum, visitors will walk over a timber bridge and through a scenic meadow.
PWP Landscape Architecture, led by Peter Walker, will design the site’s landscaping, which will feature more than 6,000-trees from 40 native species. About 50 acres of land will be developed into a meadow with perennial native flora.