Construction has begun on the new Princeton University Art Museum, a new building that will sit on the site of the former museum at the center of the Princeton campus.
Roughly doubling the square footage of the existing facility, the 13,378 m2 (144,000 sf) facility increases spaces for display, learning and visitor amenities. The building’s exterior will be characterized by stone surfaces responding to the campus surroundings, as well as bronze details throughout.
The building has been designed in ‘zones’ to allow for maximum access to the most ‘public’ portions of the facility—gathering spaces, educational and event spaces, a café—while assuring appropriate controls to the primary gallery zone on the second level. Four of the pavilions will feature mechanically controlled daylighting and 5 m (18 ft) ceilings; other galleries will be shaped for more experiences and the display of other works, such as the Museum’s renowned holdings of photography and of Chinese painting.
A ground-floor education center will include five of six object-study classrooms for hands-on, object-based instruction; a grand hall seating up to 250 people for lectures, performances and events; a lecture hall seating 60 people; two seminar rooms; and two ‘creativity labs’ for art-making activities. A sixth object-study classroom will be located within the full-service conservation studio located on the second and third floors.
In keeping with Princeton University’s Sustainability Action Plan, the new museum building will reduce greenhouse gas emissions through minimal south-facing glazing, an exterior envelope, mechanical systems, lighting and controls, the conversion of utilities from steam to hot water and heavy timber carbon offset. Following these same policies, 85 percent or more of the material being removed from the site is being recycled or reused.