Bostonians voted the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum's new wing the People's Choice Award winner for 2012, honoring the project as the city's "most beautiful new building" for the calendar year. The new wing, designed by Renzo Piano and Stantec, beat out three other projects on the short list: Fumihiko Maki's MIT Media Lab; the restoration of Alumnae Valley at Wellesley, led by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates; and Temple Beth Elohim by William Rawn Architects. The winning team was honored at the annual Boston Society of Architects Awards Gala on Jan. 31.
The museum expansion provides spaces for specific programming, including a 296-seat performance hall and a 1,500-square-foot, three-story special exhibition gallery. The glass-enclosed first floor includes a new entry, a café, gift shop, greenhouses and education spaces. Administration offices, lab-quality restoration spaces, and accommodations for two Artists-in-Residence are also included in the new wing. The design team relied on BIM to coordinate the building’s many complex systems, and the new wing achieved LEED Gold certification last fall.
For more on the award, including a photo gallery of the finalists, visit: http://boston.com/advertisers/bsa/2012/index.html.