The Philadelphia Museum of Art has opened a 62,000-square-foot art handling facility designed by Frank Gehry. Though the project was completed slightly later than predicted, it came in $5 million below its $81 million budget. An important element in Gehry Partners’s Museum Master Plan, the Spring Garden Street–facing addition consists of 38,000 square feet of new construction and 24,000 square feet of new docks, service yards, and operations areas, as well as renovation of 24,000 square feet of existing space.
“The facility, respectfully tucked into the Museum’s iconic landmark building, opens the doors to the future renovation and expansion of galleries and public spaces, which will transform the visitor’s experience of our collection,” said Gail Harrity, the museum’s president and chief operating officer.
Carved into Fairmount knoll, the new facility includes green-roofed shipping bays and climate-controlled crating, conservation, and storage areas to manage the museum’s permanent and special exhibition programs. A new production studio, an education distance learning lab, and new WiFi capabilities enable digital and mobile learning with schools and on-line visitors from around the world.