Princeton, New Jersey, USA
Architecture studio Adjaye Associates have designed a new building for the art museum of Princeton University that embodies “flexibility, openness, and connectivity to break down barriers to participation and invite entry by all“.
This project was short-listed for a 2021 International Architecture Award from The Chicago Athenaeum and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.
The new building will rise on the site of the current Museum, at the heart of Princeton’s storied campus, placing its globe-spanning collections in the daily path of the University community and serving as a welcoming gateway for visitors from around the world.
The design inserts itself dynamically into campus life with key pedestrian pathways flowing into and through the Museum via two “art walks”—thoroughfares that function as the new building’s circulatory spine.
Seven “pavilions” scale the size of the new building to account for the historic buildings nearby and to allow for more varied gallery experiences. The design also shapes a new home for the University’s Department of Art & Archaeology while retaining Marquand Library; together, the three units will continue to function as a dynamic center for research and teaching.
The design of the new building allows the Museum’s globe-spanning collections to be exhibited substantially on a single level, shaping new ways of encountering the collections, privileging ideas of cultural contact and exchange, and fostering new modes of storytelling.
By challenging the traditional hierarchies inherent in multilevel gallery display, the Museum will foster moments of discovery and surprise as visitors encounter ideas and objects in narratives that move beyond the boundaries of geography and chronology. This approach brings architecture and curatorial practice together in a manner that is rare among major cultural institutions.
Project: Princeton University Art Museum
Architects: Adjaye Associates
Client: Princeton University
Structural Engineer: Gilsanz Murray Stefuecek
Mechanical/Plumbing Engineer: Robert Director Associates
Cost and Project Manager: Gardiner & Theobald
Lighting Consultant: Dot Dash
Contractor: LF Driscoll Renders: Adjaye Associates