Fairfield University Art Museum

1920s Gallery Conversion


Located in Bellarmine Hall’s lower level, the new museum contains many pieces on loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and its Cloisters Collection. A primary focus is Medieval Art from Western Europe along with Byzantine Art from Ireland.

Kohler Ronan’s professional engineers and technical staff were enlisted to meet the challenges faced by converting a 1920s basement into gallery space befitting the valuable artworks to be displayed. Of the utmost concern was creating and maintaining an environment that would meet the Metropolitan Museum’s strict requirements and enable proper preservation of the various pieces. Air temperature and humidity control were key factors. Providing appropriate museum-quality lighting and associated controls, as well as the integration of life-safety systems within this previously unoccupied space, were also central to the project.

Kohler Ronan’s mechanical and electrical teams successfully addressed these issues and designed stand-alone, dedicated utilities for the space. Plumbing services were also provided in support of the new mechanical equipment and architectural modifications. Rounding out the scope of our services was the selection of wet pipe sprinkler protection and VESDA incipient detection throughout the exhibit space.


ARCHITECTCenterbrook Architects
 & Planners
SIZE10,000 square feet
COST$2 million

Photo credit: ©Anna Wesolowska/ www.photographerhedman.com