To celebrate National Museum Day on May 18, the Clark will invite visitors to the top floor of the Manton Research Center for a bird's eye view of the ongoing campus expansion project, which has entered its final phase.
Much of the new building space, including the back-of-house facilities, will be below grade in order to minimize the project's impact on the surroundings. From above, visitors will be able to see the new Visitor, Exhibition and Conference Center under construction and the beginnings of the 1.5-acre reflecting pool that will function as part of the museum's new sustainable water system.
Architect Tadao Ando worked with landscapist Reed Hilderbrand of Watertown, Mass., to further integrate the project's architectural and landscape designs. In addition to providing new indoor spaces, the center will serve as a gateway for visitors to explore Stone Hill and the natural surroundings.
Every day at 1 p.m. through the summer (beginning in June), the museum will hold daily public briefings on the project, with live presentations, videos and opportunities for people to ask questions. In a sense the project will become a special exhibition all its own.
Vicki Saltzman, the museum's director of communications, recently led me on a tour of the Visitor, Exhibition and Conference Center under construction, where the new walls and windows allow a peak at what the visitor experience will be like; and the 1955 museum building, where renovations by Annabelle Selldorf shed light on elements of the museum's past.