At night, the facade acts as a billboard for the arts and can been seen from deep within the campus core.
The addition sits behind the existing museum. Ceramic panels and clerestory are in harmony with the limestone infill panels of the original pavilion-like building.
The stair hall acts as an additional exhibition space. With thin mullions, the acid-etched glass appears to float.
The 24-foot, two-story galleries can be adapted for any scale and particular requirements for contemporary art.
The 24-foot, two-story galleries can be adapted for any scale and particular requirements for contemporary art.
The exhibit space accommodates a variety of media.
Lois Foster Wing, Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University
Waltham, Massachusetts
The original Master Plan for Brandeis University was developed by Eero Saarinen and featured individual buildings atop the hilly, pastoral setting as temples, rejecting the traditional closed collegiate quadrangle model. The pavilion-like original Art Museum, built in 1961, is a classic International Style structure. The first phase of the program called for expansion of the 15,000-square-foot museum in an addition of 8,800 square feet.

The design concept reinforces the location and identification of the original museum as a temple and graciously defers to it with the siting of the addition. The addition is reached through the grand entrance of the old building, and takes a secondary position behind it. Its location engages and transforms the existing building through a replanned circulation. The arrival sequence begins at the front door of the original museum. Visitors may cross the original gallery to a glass doorway that opens onto a balcony overlooking the new main gallery below. Descending the grand, glass-enclosed staircase between the original building and new wing, with views of nature beyond, visitors enter on the ground level.

The play of light and dark, volume and void, is glimpsed throughout the circulation sequence. Walls and surfaces are reduced to fundamental elements and planes. The ceiling is a luminous plane that modulates artificial and natural light and delivers climate-controlled fresh air. Exterior materials were selected to harmonize with the limestone cladding of the existing museum, with simple and elegant materials and details. The reflective skin is a rear-ventilated exterior wall system comprised of sleek and lightweight ceramic panels articulated with aluminum trim. The legibility of activities and flexibility of installations are supported by an acid-etched glass clerestory, lined with adjustable louvers that control the daylight within the gallery space below from complete darkness to full natural light. The combination of diffusion glass and daylight louvers in the clerestory and a luminous ceiling above the gallery creates a warm surface of lighting throughout the gallery for the widest range of installations from full daylight to full darkness. At night, the addition glows, illuminating and representing its changing contents and reinforcing the importance of the arts on campus.




8,800 SF


Boston Society of Architects, Higher Education Facilities, Honor Award for Design Excellence
Boston Society of Architects, Honor Award for Design Excellence


Jonathan Hillyer
Bruce Martin