- Mep/Fp Engineers:Petersen Engineering
- Electrical, Fa Engineers:R.W. Sullivan Engineering
- Specifications:Kalin Associates
- Code And Fire Protection:Cosentini Associates
- Cost Estimating:Daedalus
- Food Service:Colburn Guyette
- Hardware:ASSA ABLOY
- Structural Wood Testing:Wood Advisory Services Inc.
- Existing Conditions Building Scan:Existing Conditions Survey Inc
- Environmental Graphics:Over, Unver
- Owner:Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA)
- Mep Engineer:Petersen Engineering
- Fire Protection:Petersen Engineering
- City:North Adams
- Country:United States
Text description provided by the architects. A pioneering adaptive reuse project, Mass MoCA breathes new life into a 17-acre industrial complex built in the late 1800s. The museum was completed in three phases, initially opening to international acclaim in 1999. The third and final phase, Building 6, is the realization of the architect’s 25-year master plan, which continues Mass MoCA’s “museums within the museum” concept. Two buildings with a combined 130,000sf of undeveloped space create areas for video, film, and multi-media exhibits, as well as events, workshops, and storage.
The massiveness of both the buildings and the complex, with interlocking courtyards, bridges, and walkways, offered the opportunity to experiment with open spaces, structural elements, and connections. Design interventions weave in and out of over one thousand columns, hundreds of windows, and acres of maple factory floor. Existing spaces are edited, sculpting a two-story glass-roofed central core, a lounge at the museum’s “prow,” and two-story openings for art and visual connections. The original building remains legible—giving scale, context, and history—but has been thoroughly transformed for its new life as a museum.
The building’s most important orienting, ceremonial, and transitional spaces are created through the act of sculptural salvage, rather than the addition of new materials. All bricks, structural wood, and finished wood used on the project are salvaged from the building itself—greatly reducing transportation, extraction, and industrial energy. The result is a transparency that encourages experimentation and collaboration within the framework of a place known for centuries as a center for innovation.