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Manassas Museum renovated to reimagine a civic design & engage the community

Manassas Museum renovated to reimagine a civic design & engage the community

The museum initially opened as a temporary exhibit in 1974 and was later relocated to downtown Manassas in 1991.


By Malcolm Crumbley, Associate Editor | August 19, 2022
Manassas Museum ext 1 lead image
Courtesy GWWO Architects.

Manassas, VA has recently broken ground on an addition to its Manassas Museum. The museum initially opened as a temporary exhibit in 1974 and was later relocated to downtown Manassas in 1991. The addition is set to open in 2023 on the 150th anniversary of the Manassas community.

The Manassas Museum had already had a huge amount of significance in the Historic Downtown, providing space for education, conversation, and a regional connection in the community. As for the addition, the city partnered with GWWO Architects in order to reimagine a renewed civic design.

The renovation will transform the physical relationship between the museum and its lawn by removing an existing isolating courtyard wall. The addition will be situated to engage the community, fully activate the museum green space, and improve visitor flow. The expansion will elevate the museum’s presence, responding to its role as a significant piece of civic architecture while respecting the scale of the historic core and view of the building’s iconic cupola. Visible from the nearby train station, the expansion will attract new visitors to educate them on the story of Manassas.

The addition will flank the building’s existing wings and welcome those arriving downtown. Clad in pre-patinated copper, the form of the special exhibit hall opens to the park creating dynamic views that engage visitors and the community. Transparent glazing along the courtyard will create a continual dialogue between the museum and outdoor spaces. 

Renovations to the existing building include a new exhibit space with views into an expanded collections storage area. 

The 4,800-sf addition also includes:

  • A new exhibit hall
  • Offices
  • Support space
  • An administrative wing located opposite of the new exhibit hall
  • A re-envisioned courtyard and amphitheater
  • A new entry and corridors with exhibits

Museum sustainable best practices:

  • Bird-friendly glazing
  • Low-albedo roofing
  • LED lighting
  • Daylighting in all occupied spaces
  • Upgrades to high-efficiency mechanical with energy recovery

On the Building Team:
Owner/Developer: City of Manassas
Landscape Architect: RHI
MEP Engineer: Mueller Associates
Structural Engineer: Thornton Tomasetti
Civil Engineer: Ross-France
Cost Estimator: Forella Group
Geotechnical Engineer: Schnabel

Manassas Museum ext 2
Courtesy GWWO Architects.
Manassas Museum ext 3
Courtesy GWWO Architects.

 

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