Yale University Art Gallery, Kahn Building Renovation

Kahn Cover

Yale University Art Gallery, Kahn Building Renovation

This renovation of Louis Kahn’s seminal Yale Art Gallery restores the architect’s design intentions, reverses past interventions and upgrades outmoded structural and environmental systems providing the campus and New Haven with an educational and cultural resource designed for the optimal preservation and display of the extensive collection.

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The restoration is more than an aesthetic improvement. It is also the fulfillment of a responsibility to architectural history.

Mark Alden Branch, ’86 Yale Alumni, Executive Editor of Yale Alumni Magazine
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Acclaimed for its bold geometry, daring use of light and space and its structural and engineering innovations, Louis Kahn’s first significant building houses Yale’s visual art collection. Over the years, the museum’s open spaces had been partitioned into smaller galleries, classrooms and offices. The renovation once again provides the unobstructed, light-filled vistas Kahn envisioned.

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The renovation reintroduces a newly engineered version of Kahn’s signature mobile “pogo” wall units, which allow the gallery spaces to be temporarily reconfigured.

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Regarded as a groundbreaking milestone in the development of the modern glass wall, Kahn’s window-wall was nevertheless subject to structural and thermal problems originating from the materials and technology available at the time of its construction. The newly designed window-wall system duplicates the appearance and profiles of the original and accommodates modern museum standards of climate control.

The renovation restores an open exterior courtyard, which had been roofed over in the 1970s, as the new site of Richard Serra’s Stacks sculpture.


New Haven, CT
62,000 GSF
Galleries, Media Lounge, Courtyard, Sculpture Garden


Ennead Design Team
Duncan Hazard, James S. Polshek, 1930-2022, Richard Olcott, Steven Peppas, Lloyd DesBrisay, Robert Condon, Gary Anderson, Marlon Aranda, Felicia Berger, Chris Boyer, Kimberly Brown, Yong Joon Cho, Stephen PD Chu, Alex Leung, James Macho, Marianne Madigan, Cheryl McQueen, Anh Montgomery, Peter Mullan, Craig Mutter, Jesse Peck, Damyanti Radheshwar, Marissa Sweig Trigger, Hans Walter
Staples & Charles, LTD.
Historic Preservation
David G. De Long
Garrison/Lull, Inc.
Exterior Envelope
Gordon H. Smith Corporation, James R. Gainfort Consulting Architects, P.C.
Elizabeth Felicella, Yale University Art Gallery


  • 2010
    • AIA National Honor Award for Architecture
  • 2009
    • National Design Award, Society of American Registered Architects
    • Award of Excellence, Society of American Registered Architects/New York Council
  • 2008
    • Merit Award, AIA/New York Chapter
  • 2007
    • Honor Award, AIA/Connecticut
    • Best of 2007 Merit Award, Rehab/Restoration/Renovation, New York Construction News
    • Historic Preservation Honor Award, National Trust for Historic Preservation
    • Merit Award, AIA/New England
    • Merit Award, AIA/New York State


  • 2018
  • 2007
    • Hurley, Amanda Kolson. "As Kahn Intended" (Architect, 4/1/2007)
    • Nobel, Philip. "Between Noise and Light: The Yale University Art Gallery triggers a reappraisal of Louis Kahn's message" (Metropolis, 10/17/2007)
  • 2006
    • Benenson, Charles B. "Yale Revamps Kahn Landmark" (Art in America, 12/2006)
    • Bernstein, Fred. "A Restoration Adds Luster, Keeping with Designer's Original Aesthetics" (The New York Times, 12/10/2006)
    • Jackson, Sarah. "Louis Kahn / Yale University Art Gallery" (The Architects' Journal, 11/30/2006)
    • Ouroussoff, Nicolai . "Restoring Kahn's Gallery, and Reclaiming a Corner of Architectural History at Yale" (The New York Times, 12/11/2006)
    • Richards, Kristen. "Un-cluttering a Kahn Classic" (e-Oculus, 7/30/2006)
    • Saffron, Inga. "Makeover for a Kahn masterpiece" (The Philadelphia Inquirer, 12/13/2006)
    • Taylor, Kate. "A Kahn Icon Restored" (The New York Sun, 7/19/2006)
  • 2005
    • MacAdam, Barbara . "A Modernist Masterpiece Reborn" (Art Info, 12/5/2005)