Maryhill Museum of Art Expansion and Renovation Project / GBD Architects

© Josh Partee

Architects: GBD Architects
Location: , Washington, USA
Principal In Charge: Gene Callan
Design Team: Agustin Enriquez, Dick Kirschbaum, Lucas Posada
Area: 25,500 sq ft
Year: 2011
Photographs: Josh Partee

© Josh Partee

First ever expansion of Maryhill Museum of Art, the iconic museum located along the Columbia River Gorge in Washington state. The $9.5 million, 25,500 sq. ft. Mary and Bruce Stevenson Wing is the largest cultural capital project in the Gorge region in 15 years. The design is energy efficient, sustainable and honors the nearly 100-year-old museum building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Key features of the new wing include: a dedicated art education center to accommodate Maryhill’s wide range of public programming; a centralized collections suite for improved storage of more than 20,000 objects, and to give curators and researchers more efficient access to the museum’s world-class collections; an outdoor plaza to provide improved visitor access to Maryhill’s extraordinary setting and growing collection of large-scale sculpture; and, a new cafe with terrace seating and stunning views of the Columbia River Gorge.

© Josh Partee

Maryhill Museum of Art’s rich history and extraordinary setting make it one of the region’s leading museums and a true gem of the Pacific Northwest; the expansion project, more than 20 years in the making, presented a number of design opportunities and challenges, including a limited budget, the need to construct a new wing that quietly complemented the existing historic building and the desire to take full advantage of what may be the museum’s most visible asset: its magnificent setting.

© Josh Partee

To minimize the visual impact of The Mary and Bruce Stevenson Wing, the first floor is located underground, housing 8,425 square feet for an art education center, collections storage and study rooms, exhibits, restrooms, and cafe. A 1,700 square foot gallery at ground level links the existing historic building to the new wing. Exterior spaces, including the Bishop Terrace and Cannon Power Plaza, provide another 11,825 square feet of interpretive space. The project also includes the renovation of 3,545 square feet of existing galleries and office spaces.

Second Floor Plan

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Cite: "Maryhill Museum of Art Expansion and Renovation Project / GBD Architects" 02 Jan 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 30 May 2015. <>
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  • Stephen Davis

    This is a truly breathtaking site! Unfortunately it doesn’t look like GBD Architects did much to add to it. The building addition is astoundingly uninspiring. Kind of a dated modernism aesthetic that looks like a designer trying to copy the ‘style’ of well known architects without much success. This is one of those sites that demands a very thoughtful, beautiful response and its a shame that it wasn’t executed this way.