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Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Expansion

Technical expertise makes the soaring architectural vision a reality

Boston, Massachusetts

World-renowned architects, Renzo Piano Building Workshop, presented our architects with an enormous challenge – figure out how to bring their soaring, beautiful concept from idea to reality. While the design of the museum extension appears effortlessly simple from the outside, achieving the vision of a light, open space at this historic structure was a considerable challenge, requiring thoughtful solutions and teamwork.

The concept for the design was to create a glass extension that appears to float above the ground, allowing visitors to see within it to the 110 year old replica of a 15th century Venetian palace that is the original museum. The solution to achieving the openness and transparency of the space was to tuck the structural features and much of the state-of-the-art building systems into carefully concealed spaces within the walls, ceilings, crawl spaces, and acoustical voids. Using Building Information Modeling (BIM) software allowed us to coordinate the complicated interweaving of interior systems, all while successfully targeting LEED Gold certification. 

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