Anderson Collection at Stanford University


Anderson Collection at Stanford University

The Anderson Collection is a prized collection of significant twentieth-century American Art. The design for a dedicated gallery at Stanford University interprets the unique accessibility to the art as it had been exhibited throughout the Anderson’s home and offices to foster a powerfully direct and intimate experience.


We took full advantage of the abundant natural California sunlight while protecting the extremely valuable, light-sensitive pieces within the building to produce a bright gallery for this outstanding collection.

Richard Olcott, Design Partner

Part of a University directive to develop a prominent arts district, this new gallery building provides an inviting home for the Anderson Collection as well as a vital library and teaching space, serving Stanford’s educational mission.


Exhibition spaces are on the second floor below an undulating ceiling. The gentle slope of the ceiling and the continuous translucent clerestory windows at the perimeter of the building bring diffused natural light into the galleries from above.


The gallery layout is conceived as one open room, freeing visitors from a prescribed sequence and promoting the exploration of individual interests.


A grand central staircase serves as an extension of the gallery walls, allowing visitors to view the collection as they gradually ascend from the lobby to the main galleries above.

Openings between the gallery walls provide views into the double-height stair hall, which serves as a point of orientation for visitors circulating throughout the building.


The second floor gallery volume is cantilevered over the first floor to create a modern interpretation of Stanford’s traditional pedestrian arcade.



Stanford, CA
30,000 GSF
Gallery Spaces, Offices, Conference Rooms, Library/Study Area, Storage Spaces, Food Service


Ennead Design Team
Richard Olcott, Timothy Hartung, Sean Baumes, Steven Peppas, Yu Inamoto, Gary Anderson, Do Young Chung, Edgar Jimenez, Jörg Kiesow, Nikita Payusov, Adam Sheraden
Photography / Videography
Tim Griffith for Ennead Architects, Aislinn Weidele/Ennead Architects


  • 2016
    • Architizer A+ Awards, Special Mention
    • Award of Excellence, Society of American Registered Architects New York Council
  • 2015
    • The Chicago Athenaeum 2015 American Architecture Awards
    • Award of Excellence, American Institute of Architects, New York State


  • 2018
  • 2015
    • King, John. "New McMurtry Building a fine showcase of the arts for Stanford" (San Francisco Chronicle, 10/14/2015)
  • 2014
    • Baker, Kenneth. "Anderson Collection at Stanford solidifies Bay Area's art stature" (SF Gate, 9/18/2014)
    • Finkel, Jori. "At Stanford University, an Arts District Grows" (New York Times, 11/16/2014)
    • Knight, Christopher. "Pollock's stellar 'Lucifer' and impressive Anderson Collection" (Los Angeles Times, 9/17/2014)
    • Taylor, Robert. "Review: Anderson Collection of 20th-century art opens Sept. 21" (San Jose Mercury News, 9/18/2014)
    • Wander, Robin. "A Private Art Collection Becomes a Stanford Collection on Sunday, Sept. 21" (Stanford University News, 9/15/2014)
  • 2012
    • Gauthier, Toni. "Anderson Collection Groundbreaking/Opening Remarks by Provost John Etchemendy" (Arts at Stanford, 10/10/2012)
  • 2011
    • Boehm, Mike. "Stanford picks architect for art collection's $30.5-million home" (Los Angeles Times, 12/14/2011)
    • Goll, David. "Stanford plans major arts facility expansion" (Business Journal- Silicon Valley/San Jose, 12/14/2011)
    • Krieger, Lisa M. "Two new art buildings planned for Stanford's 'arts district'" (San Jose Mercury News, 12/17/2011)