Construction has begun on the multi-phase renovation and expansion of the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, Connecticut. The museum is a community-based, world-class institution highlighting art, science and natural history.
The design is being led by EskewDumezRipple—a New Orleans-based architecture, planning and interior design practice known for delivering projects with a strong connection to context, culture and place. The firm was selected following a national search undertaken by the Museum with the assistance of jones|kroloff, an advisory practice that has helped lead architect selection processes for major cultural institutions across the country.
The reimagined New Bruce will more than double the size of the Museum, from 30,000 square feet to 70,000 square feet, adding education and community spaces and significantly expanding its space for permanent and temporary installations of art, science and natural history exhibitions. The centerpiece of the New Bruce is a three-story addition that will be integrated with the current structure while connecting the project to its adjacent park setting.
The design vision for the project ties the building to the landscape and to the unique geology of its New England context. Drawing inspiration from stone quarries found along the Connecticut coast, the design features a delicately striated façade of cast stone and glass that will be animated by the play of light across the building, changing appearance with the weather and time of day. The design orients the new entrance to face Bruce Park, connecting the project to the community while drawing the landscape in to create a light court in the center of the museum.
“These are exciting times, not just for us here at the Bruce but for the entire community. We’ve long been known for our great exhibitions of art and science and for the wonderful educational programs we provide to schools throughout the region. But museums are really about people; about learning and connections for our members; about offering great experiences to visitors and community. That’s why we want to invite the entire community to be a part of building a new Museum – the New Bruce,” stated Executive Director Robert Wolterstorff, in a recent press release from the Bruce.
The Museum recently launched the public phase of a transformative, $60 million capital campaign in support of this multi-phase expansion and renovation project. The first phase will renovate and revitalize the existing structure, which includes a private residence built in 1853 and deeded by Robert Moffat Bruce to the Town of Greenwich for use as “a natural history, historical, and art museum for the use and benefit of the public.”
The second phase of the project, beginning summer 2020, will entail a 40,000 square foot addition, more than doubling the existing size of the Museum while providing expanded collection storage, permanent and changing art gallery space, and a new public entrance lobby, cafe and lecture hall for Museum and community use.
EskewDumezRipple (EDR) is a New Orleans based architecture, interiors and urban planning firm recognized for producing innovative projects grounded by a strong understanding of context, culture, and environment.
Established in 1989, the studio has transformed from a local firm doing nationally recognized work to a national firm that has retained its local roots. Recipients of the prestigious Architecture Firm Award from the American Institute of Architects, the firm has continued to find meaningful ways to shape community and the profession at large. Building upon the legacy of firm founder Allen Eskew, the firm strives to engage the world as he did—with humility, charm, and a deeply personal commitment to design as craft. For more information, visit: www.eskewdumezripple.com
About the Bruce Museum
The Bruce Museum is a community based, world-class museum. Its mission is to promote an appreciation of art and an understanding of science to enrich the lives of all people. The Bruce offers more than a dozen changing exhibitions annually, with permanent galleries that feature the natural sciences.
Today the Bruce Museum attracts approximately 80,000 visitors annually, including families, seniors, students, people with disabilities, and at-risk children. The Bruce is a cultural beacon for the regional community and an active member of such distinguished groups as the Connecticut Art Trail, the Fairfield/Westchester Museum Alliance, and the Association of Science-Technology Centers. For more information, visit https://brucemuseum.org/