Each construction phase was carefully scheduled to accommodate academic and exhibition calendars and to minimize impact on the ongoing operations of the institution.
The last phase joins two early twentieth-century residential buildings with narrow footprints and stringent landmark regulations into one modern building, restoring their historic brick and limestone Beaux Arts façades but stripping the buildings to the structural steel, and adding two additional floors on top and expanding out into the rear yard. A new brick, copper and glass rear yard facade reflects the minimal aesthetic of the interior spaces.
The introduction of large expanses of glass and new exterior rooftop terraces link interior and exterior to visually expand the compact quarters of the building. Movement through the building is choreographed to orient users toward the natural light, particularly by creating open spaces from north to south where possible.
The careful insertion of the new structure into its historic framework has transformed the interior of what was a private residence into an open, light-filled public environment for the decorative arts. With new and renovated facades to reflect its new academic identity, the building reemerges as a vital new institutional presence within the urban fabric of the city.