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September 2020

Kohler Ronan Designing Building Systems for Princeton University’s New Art Museum

By KR Projects

Centrally located on the university’s historic campus, the new Princeton University Art Museum will nearly double the available space for the exhibition, conservation, study, and interpretation of the museum’s expansive and diverse collections. Designed by Adjaye Associates on the site of the original museum, the new facility will provide ample gathering and social spaces as well as numerous visitor amenities. Outside terraces will accommodate approximately 2,000 people, while pedestrian “art walks” will flow into and through the museum blurring boundaries between the interior and the exterior. The Department of Art & Archaeology will make its new home in the building and the Marquand Library will remain.

While the new museum will allow much of the museum’s collection to be displayed on a single level, the building will span three stories and feature seven primary, interconnected pavilions. The pavilions will vary in size to accommodate large collections and offer intimate spaces as well. Four pavilions located at each corner of the building will incorporate grand, 18-foot-high ceilings, daylighting, hardwood floors, and a Glulam ceiling, covering many of the space’s systems. At the center of the museum, a double-height Grand Hall will serve as a lecture hall and performance space, appropriate for hosting special events and larger gatherings.

Kohler Ronan is designing the HVAC, Electrical, Plumbing, and Fire Protection systems in support of the museum’s unique collections and related programming. We are pleased to be working closely with the university’s sustainability and facilities team to ensure that our systems are both sensitive to the collections and in keeping with the campus’s sustainability goals. Kohler Ronan’s design will also allow for the necessary connection to campus utilities which is in the process of being converted from a steam-based cogeneration plant to a hot water-based geo-exchange.

The new museum is anticipated to open in 2024.