Collection by Kelsey Keith

New Piano for Gardner Museum


Boston's venerable Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum—founded in 1903 by a lady art patron and obsessive collector of antiquities—has been one of the city's crown cultural jewels for the past century, so taking on a contemporary expansion that would double it in size was no easy feat. Lucky for the Gardner, Italian architect Renzo Piano was up for the task, adding on a new wing of four floating volumes clad in verdigris-hued copper. The building, connected to the existing "palace" by a transparent walkway, houses a variety of programming venues (cafe, greenhouse, artist apartments, concert hall, education center, and gallery space) meant not to expand attendance numbers, but the sensory experience of existing visitors.

For more Renzo Piano in Boston, see how the project developed at the building's very own blog.

Exterior view of the new Evans Way Park entrance of the new wing of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
Evening exterior view of the new Evans Way Park entrance of the Renzo Piano-designed wing of the Gardner Museum, which...
From the outside peering in at the new Special Exhibition Gallery in the Piano wing.
A view of the central grand staircase in the new wing.
A cross-section view of the staircase, showing the pleated green facade beyond the windows.
View from a balcony of Calderwood Hall in the new wing: the acoustics in the space were engineered by Yasuhisa Toyota,...
Section view of the technologically advanced Caldwell Hall, designed by Renzo Piano with the acoustical expertise of...
A view of the new Living Room visitor orientation space on the ground floor of the Gardner's new wing.
Renzo Piano designed even the smallest detail, like the electronic placards posted throughout the new wing.
Lighting detail in the Claire and John Bertolucci Education Studio, an art-making space currently featuring work by...
Gardner's contemporary curator Pieranna Cavalchini in front of artist Victoria Morton's first US solo show, as seen in...
Renzo Piano's sketch of his vision for the transparent connector between the historial palace and the contemporary wing...
The red, felt-covered seats designed by Piano in the Caldwell Auditorium are incredibly straight-backed and...
Connecting the original Willard T. Sears building to the Renzo Piano addition is a glassy vertebrae, which Piano...
The underside of the vertically-oriented Caldwell Auditorium, built like a high-tech black box theatre.
In the Living Room orientation space, it's not a sound installation you're hearing: it's real, live birds.
A view of the old palace, looking out from the stairwell in the new wing and across the glass ground-floor walkway.
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