edited by Sheila Kim -- Interior Design, 5/1/2003 12:00:00 AM
An unstable economy has derailed ambitious renovations and construction plans at art institutions nationwide. (Rem Koolhaas isn't the only casualty.) Nevertheless, a few fortunate museums are still moving ahead in a big way.
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, has unveiled a master plan by London architect Rick Mather and local firm SMBW Architects. The project comprises both a renovation and a five-story limestone addition slated to break ground in 2004. Price tag: $100 million.
Up in Salem, Massachusetts, the Peabody Essex Museum is almost ready to open a 111,000-square-foot wing by architect Moshe Safdie. The Safdie project, which more than doubles the institution's total square footage, centers on a glass-topped piazza that connects existing gallery buildings. June 23 is ribbon-cutting day.
In western Massachusetts, architect Tadao Ando has designed a visitor, graduate, and conference center for Williamstown's Clark Art Institute. The project, expected to break ground next year, centers on a glass-walled building with 11,500 square feet of high-ceilinged galleries. Because Ando is also overseeing plans for the entire museum campus, his design includes a 11/2-acre exterior reflecting pool, a place of meditation in difficult times.