Next November, the University of Notre Dame in Indiana is scheduled to open the first phase of Raclin Murphy Museum of Art, a 70,000-sf cultural facility that will eventually replace the campus’ venerable Snite Museum of Art and double the exhibit space available for Notre Dame’s 31,000-item art collection.
The building under construction establishes a new location for the museum, and is considered to be a “front door” to an arts district on the campus’ south side that already includes the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, the nine-acre Charles B. Hayes Family Sculpture Park, and the Matthew and Joyce Walsh Family Hall of Architecture.
Long-term storage of Notre Dame’s vaunted collection of prints, drawings, and photography, along with most of the museum’s personnel, will remain at Snite until Phase 2 of this complex is realized. Phase 2’s start date and timeline have yet to be disclosed, but what’s known is that it will increase the size of the new museum complex to 132,000 sf, and provide more gallery space, offices, an auditorium, and a works-on-paper study center.
Robert A.M. Stern Architects (RAMSA) is the design architect on this project. The rest of the Building Team includes Bulley & Andrews (GC), the engineering firms Kohler Ronan (MEP), Thornton Tomasetti (SE) and TfL (CE); and Gallagher & Associates (exhibit design). The construction cost has not been disclosed.
Giving exhibits equal weight in the museum
Last week, BD+C interviewed RAMSA’s Melissa DelVecchio, FAIA, Partner; and Anthony McConnell, Senior Associate, about the Raclin museum’s design features within its three floors and a lower level.
DelVecchio noted that new construction was necessitated by the lack of available space near the Snite Museum for expansion. When Snite opened a generation ago, it was on the outer edge of what was then Notre Dame’s campus; now, it’s roughly in the middle of a significantly bigger campus. “It’s hard to find, and there’s no nearby parking,” she said.
Snite only has enough space to exhibit 2-3 percent of the museum’s collection, whereas Raclin will be able to show around 5%. DelVecchio pointed out, as well, that the new building will house a large temporary gallery and loading dock to better attract and handle traveling exhibits, something that Snite was not able to accommodate. The new building also will have more storage space that’s accessible to students for study purposes.
The galleries within Raclin revolve around a central, multi-height atrium that rises to a skylight, and the galleries themselves will have “equal prominence,” said McConnell, compared to some spaces in Snite that relegated the art to “second class” exhibition.
The lower level of Raclin “has no back,” he explained, in that its gallery for International Modern and Contemporary Art blends into the museum’s sculpture court. Raclin is also distinguished on its west side by an oval-shaped working chapel, Our Lady, Queen of Families, that will display some art and be near galleries with ecclesiastic art on display.
From an operational standpoint, the museum is designed to present zero thresholds for patrons with disabilities. That includes the installation of automated door openers for the facility’s restrooms.
The exterior design of this rectangular building is classical, and its materials will match the rest of the arts district and streetscape, said DelVelcchio.
Museums | Feb 22, 2023
David Chipperfield's 'subterranean' design wins competition for National Archaeological Museum in Athens
Berlin-based David Chipperfield Architects was selected as the winner of the design competition for the new National Archaeological Museum in Athens. The project will modernize and expand the original neoclassical museum designed by Ludwig Lange and Ernst Ziller (1866-1874) with new spaces that follow the existing topography of the site. It will add approximately 20,000 sm of space to the existing museum, as well as a rooftop park that will be open to the public.
Museums | Feb 17, 2023
First Americans Museum uses design metaphors of natural elements to honor native worldview
First Americans Museum (FAM) in Oklahoma City honors the 39 tribes in Oklahoma today, reflecting their history through design metaphors of nature’s elements of earth, wind, water, and fire. The design concept includes multiple circles suggested by arcs, reflecting the native tradition of a circular worldview that encompasses the cycle of life, the seasons, and the rotation of the earth.
Giants 400 | Feb 9, 2023
New Giants 400 download: Get the complete at-a-glance 2022 Giants 400 rankings in Excel
See how your architecture, engineering, or construction firm stacks up against the nation's AEC Giants. For more than 45 years, the editors of Building Design+Construction have surveyed the largest AEC firms in the U.S./Canada to create the annual Giants 400 report. This year, a record 519 firms participated in the Giants 400 report. The final report includes 137 rankings across 25 building sectors and specialty categories.
Giants 400 | Feb 6, 2023
2022 Reconstruction Sector Giants: Top architecture, engineering, and construction firms in the U.S. building reconstruction and renovation sector
Gensler, Stantec, IPS, Alfa Tech, STO Building Group, and Turner Construction top BD+C's rankings of the nation's largest reconstruction sector architecture, engineering, and construction firms, as reported in the 2022 Giants 400 Report.
Steel Construction | Feb 3, 2023
Top 10 structural steel building projects for 2023
A Mies van der Rohe-designed art and architecture school at Indiana University and Morphosis Architects' Orange County Museum of Art in Costa Mesa, Calif., are among 10 projects to win IDEAS² Awards from the American Institute of Steel Construction.
Giants 400 | Feb 1, 2023
2022 Cultural Facilities Giants: Top architecture, engineering, and construction firms in the U.S. cultural facilities sector
Populous, DLR Group, KPFF, Arup, and Turner Construction head BD+C's rankings of the nation's largest cultural facilities sector architecture, engineering, and construction firms, as reported in the 2022 Giants 400 Report. Building types include museums, public libraries, performing arts centers, and concert venues.
Museums | Jan 18, 2023
Building memory: Why interpretive centers matter in an era of social change
The last few years have borne witness to some of the most rapid cultural shifts in our nation’s long history. If the experience has taught us anything, it is that we must find a way to keep our history in view, while also putting it in perspective.
Museums | Oct 25, 2022
Seattle Aquarium’s new Ocean Pavilion emphasizes human connection to oceans
Seattle Aquarium’s new Ocean Pavilion, currently under construction, features several exhibits that examine the human connection with the Earth’s oceans.
| Sep 1, 2022
The University of Iowa opens the new Stanley Museum of Art, a public museum for both discovering and teaching art
The University of Iowa recently completed its new Stanley Museum of Art, a public teaching museum designed by BNIM.
Giants 400 | Aug 22, 2022
Top 90 Construction Management Firms for 2022
CBRE, Alfa Tech, Jacobs, and Hill International head the rankings of the nation's largest construction management (as agent) and program/project management firms for nonresidential and multifamily buildings work, as reported in Building Design+Construction's 2022 Giants 400 Report.