The sober, handsome, and exquisitely detailed museum, designed by the New York City architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien is located in Philadelphia. The building offers a rare combination of material richness and spatial ingenuity. The design was predicated on the arrangement of the galleries within the original building and a desire to invite new programs into the scheme, such as a garden and classrooms.
The new building aims for LEED Platinum certification from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). The design offers a series of outdoor rooms and spaces that unfold as visitors approach the building, passing through the public gardens en route to the entrance. The architects have added interstitial rooms, including a glass-enclosed interior garden to give visitors a breather from this incredibly dense arrangement of paintings. The material choices for the building are highly specific, which express weight and permanence in relation to the contents of the building.