Children’s Museum + Theatre of Maine Celebrates Grand Opening

The new Children’s Museum + Theatre of Maine celebrated the long-anticipated grand opening of its brand new building, yesterday.

Museum Director Julie Butcher Pezzino, Museum Board President Kristin Valdmanis, and Maine Governor Janet Mills were among those who spoke at the ribbon cutting ceremony.

 

 

[stblockquote title=”” top_left=”” author=”Kristin Valdmanis, Museum Board President”]We built this amazing place for everyone, young and old, and our goal is to ensure belongingness and connection for all who walk through these giant yellow doors.

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A spacious, 20-foot-high entry lobby surrounded by floor-to-ceiling glass welcomes visitors of all ages. Connecting the indoors and outdoors, it brings in abundant natural light, setting the stage for a welcoming and relaxing experience for caregivers and children.

 

Easily navigable, the museum and theatre’s exhibit spaces incorporate visual and programmatic connections to Maine culture.

 

Just shy of its 100th birthday, Maddy’s Theatre found a new home at Thompson’s Point where it can truly “unleash magic” and inspire joy and discovery. Equipped with a teaching tech booth, a soundproof viewing gallery, its own dedicated lobby, and a green room and workshop backstage, Maddy’s Theatre is a state-of-the-art facility designed with young, family audiences in mind.

 

Congratulations, Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine! Bruner/Cott is proud to have designed the new home for your beloved institution.

 

MASS MoCA Wins AIA Interior Architecture Award

MASS MoCA Building 6 is a recipient of the 2020 AIA Interior Architecture Award!

This award, given by the American Institute of Architects, celebrates the most innovative and spectacular interior spaces. We are thrilled that this transformative reuse project was recognized by the jury.

Gathering space at museum prow

 

MASS MoCA’s Building 6 is a new museum made from found buildings where the spectacular interiors of existing mill structures become a three-dimensional underpainting for new, impactful contemporary art galleries. Read more about the project here.

 

[stblockquote title=”” top_left=”” author=””]What an incredible project! Born out of the tradition of the Tate Modern Museum in London, this bare-bones remodel leaves most of the existing finishes in place to consciously evoke the industrial history of the building and emphasizes the reliance of art on industrial sites for their scale and economy. – Jury comment[/stblockquote]

View the official AIA award announcement here.

MASS MoCA Turns 20!

Happy 20th Birthday, MASS MoCA!

Bruner/Cott has been working on the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art since its inception. Housed in a vast 17-acre industrial complex built in the late 1800s for the Arnold Print Works company, the museum was completed in three phases, initially opening to international acclaim in 1999 with 125,000 square feet. Today, the museum comprises 280,000 square feet of galleries, performing arts venues, video/multimedia spaces, and commercial rental units.

MASS MoCA has become ingrained in our firm’s history and has served as a model for other adaptive reuse projects. In a recent interview with ArchDaily, Bruner/Cott Principals Jason Forney, Jason Jewhurst, and Dana Kelly offer insider perspectives on the genesis of MASS MoCA.

Over the last thirty years, it has become a testing ground for our practice—in developing ways of weaving old and new together in a more dynamic way than it is typically done. Our co-founder, Simeon Bruner, and one of our principals, Henry Moss, began working with MASS MoCA in the 1980s. Their initial ideas evolved and became intrinsic to the next generation in our firm. Often, historical architecture is preserved as is or taken down to start building from scratch. Our goal is to keep the right amount of old and add the new so that the result is appropriate, sensitive, and coherent.

— Jason Forney, AIA, LEED AP, Principal

Read more, here.

 

 

 

MASS MoCA is MAAM’s 2019 Buildy Award Recipient

Congratulations to MASS MoCA on being honored for excellence in museum building as this year’s “Buildy” award recipient by the Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums (MAAM)!

This national award recognizes the museum as an institution, its director and staff, and the building/design construction team whose completed museum construction projects demonstrate high achievement in the lessons of the Building Museums™ Symposium: careful, creative planning and diligent implementation, leading to institutional sustainability. It is awarded each year to the most outstanding recent museum building project. The purpose of the Buildy Award is to increase awareness within the field, and by the public at large, of the value of museums and the need for their ongoing rehabilitation and expansion to serve future generations.

The criteria for winning a Buildy includes originality of concept, advancement of the museum’s mission, high achievement in planning and process, green design and construction, community benefit and response, transformative impact, and much more. This award recognizes the museum leadership’s exemplary accomplishment through the three-decade process of completing their master plan for the museum.

MASS MoCA Director Joe Thompson will be accepting the award on March 1st at the annual Building Museums™ Symposium in Brooklyn, NY.

Read the full award announcement on the MAAM website.

MASS MoCA Documentary to Premiere at SXSW Film Festival

South by Southwest Conference & Festivals (SXSW) announced that it will include “Museum Town,” a character-driven portrait of the largest center for contemporary art in the world – MASS MoCA.

Directed by Jennifer Trainer Thompson and narrated by Oscar-winner, Meryl Streep,  the film will make its world debut featured in the festival’s Documentary Feature category of the SXSW film festival as one of only ten films selected.

“Museum Town” depicts what Thompson calls a “rocky road” to the museum’s opening in the former Massachusetts factory town, including “a knotted confluence of politics and a post-industrial city in decline and the art world.”

The film delivers the magic of MASS MoCA and North Adams to a global audience for the first time, ever. The festival will take place in Austin, TX this March and is one of the greatest gatherings of creative professionals in the world.

Read more from the Berkshire Eagle

SXSW Abstract of Museum Town:

In 2017, MASS MoCA became the largest center for contemporary art in the world. This is the story of a unique institution, the small town it calls home, and the great risk, hope, and power of art to generate cultural and economic rebirth. With original music by Wilco bassist John Stirratt and appearances by artists ranging from James Turrell to David Byrne to Bill T. Jones, Museum Town reveals how an idea becomes a reality, tracing the creation of artist Nick Cave’s monumental installation UNTIL, a reflection on gun violence, race, and the American Dream.

Soundtracked by Talking Heads, Sharon Jones, Big Thief, Wilco, Moses Sumney, and many more. With the voice of Meryl Streep.

More about Museum Town at SXSW.

 

Lessons Learned from MASS MoCA

Set in more than twenty historic industrial buildings on sixteen acres, the vast art complex known as MASS MoCA – the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art – stands as one of the largest public galleries in the world devoted to the display of contemporary art. MASS MoCA unveiled Phase III of it’s 25-year renovation to the public this past May, and critics from across the country have taken notice of it’s unique and extraordinary grandeur.

Rick Brettell and Mark Lamster, art and architecture critics of The Dallas Morning News, recently paid a visit to the newly-expanded facility, admiring the “gritty allure” that makes MASS MoCA such a spectacular sight.

On it’s sheer size and scale, Lamster commented, “it is such a pleasure to be “lost” in a museum, to have a sense of discovery… [and] MASS MoCA’s architecture is ideal in that is can accommodate so many different scales.” While Brettell added, “among the many pleasure of MASS MoCA is the sense of aimlessness its very enormity gives to any viewer.”

You can read their full article here, which further discusses how contemporary art institutions in Dallas can follow MASS MoCA’s lead and repurpose some of the city’s existing historic buildings into hubs for art, culture, and innovation.

MASS MoCA Building 6 Opens

On May 29th, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) opened Building 6, the third phase of development at the former factory complex in North Adams, MA. The expansion adds 130,000 square feet of new gallery and event space, featuring work by artists Robert Rauschenberg, Louise Bourgeois, James Turrell, Jenny Holzer, Laurie Anderson, and Gunnar Schonbeck.

Bruner/Cott’s work at MASS MoCA began in the early 90’s with a master plan for the yet-to-be imagined museum. The transformation of the site over the past 27 years has been a vital part of the economic revival of the city and a vibrant symbol of how innovative design thinking can transform the cultural experience.

Learn more about the opening and expansion here.

 

*Images courtesy Michael Moran, Douglas Mason.