Chesterwood Barn Gallery & Visitor Center

Chesterwood Barn Gallery, Massachusetts Building, House, Architect, US Design

Chesterwood Barn Gallery, MA

Berkshire County Architecture, West Massachusetts New England, USA – by Francoise Bollack Architects

22 Oct 2010

Chesterwood Barn Gallery & Visitor Center

Location: Stockbridge, Berkshire County, western Massachusetts, northeast United States of America

Design: Francoise Bollack Architects

Restoration & New Design in Historic Setting

This project consisted of designing an addition to a historic barn to provide a visitor center for Chesterwood, the summer home and studio of the sculptor Daniel Chester French, now a museum owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Chesterwood Barn Gallery & Visitor Center Stockbridge Chesterwood Barn Gallery Stockbridge Chesterwood Barn Visitor Center Stockbridge Chesterwood Barn Gallery & Visitor Center
photos : Norman McGrath ; Francoise Bollack ; Michael Devonshire ; Norman McGrath

The addition included a museum shop, entry and display, storage and public restroom. The project also included the restoration of the historic barn to house a permanent exhibition. The National Trust’s brief called for a signature building to represent the museum’s place in contemporary culture.

What did Daniel Chester French do? He had, over time, added structures around the barn to shelter carriages, animals and tools. These additions were direct, economical and of different sizes and materials.

What did we do? We continued the design and building pattern started by French. We split the addition’s program into two components: (1) museum shop and (2) storage and public restrooms. These areas were given distinct architectural expressions. The Museum shop is inspired by basic metal agriculture structures.

It reuses the existing foundations and cantilevers over them. The storage and restrooms are accommodated in a rebuilt “chicken shack” whose salvaged doors were incorporated in the new construction.

Chesterwood Barn Gallery & Visitor Center Stockbridge Chesterwood Barn Gallery Stockbridge Chesterwood Barn Visitor Center Stockbridge Chesterwood Barn Gallery & Visitor Center
photos : Michael Devonshire

By analyzing the existing conditions and adding contrasting yet complementary volumes, we were able to design an addition, which brings the building into the present while fitting within the logic of its historical development.

Chesterwood Barn Gallery & Visitor Center – Building Information

Owner: Natural Trust for Historic Preservation
Area: 2,028 Square Feet Existing + 600 SF.
New Scope of Services: Full Architectural, Landscape Design and Engineering Services

Chesterwood Barn Gallery & Visitor Center Stockbridge Chesterwood Barn Gallery Stockbridge

Chesterwood Barn Gallery & Visitor Center – Project Team

Architect: Françoise Bollack
Architects Structural Engineering: Robert Silman Assoc.
MEP Engineering: Landmarks Facilities Group
Landscape Design: Edwina VonGal

Location: Stockbridge, MA, USA

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Website: Stockbridge, MA