MassArt Museum of Art (MAAM) | Architect magazine

Project description

The MassArt Art Museum, or MAAM, is an educational museum and a kunsthalle, a museum that does not collect. The project transforms two makeshift galleries in a century-old building into a state-of-the-art contemporary art museum. The mission of the project was to create a new museum-quality environment, while giving the museum a clear entrance and identity on Huntington Ave, Boston’s Avenue of the Arts.

The renovation involved a complete transformation of the two main spaces of the gallery and the curatorial workshops, as well as a move and redesign of the staff offices. With a new dedicated entrance, welcoming plaza and bold signage, the building’s exterior heralds the museum’s arrival on the region’s robust arts scene. Inside, the renovation creates first-class gallery space and a new lobby that allows visitors to access all of the museum’s amenities directly from the street.

The history of the building is integrated into the details of this project; the ceilings have been demolished in the upstairs gallery to reveal the historic building’s original terracotta vaults and steel trusses. At 36 feet tall, the trusses can act as an armature for art, creating limitless display possibilities. A staircase leads to a viewing platform on the second level, offering a unique perspective on a diverse range of experimental art. Throughout, crisp white textures have been used to create a blank canvas for the museum’s rotating exhibits.

Mildred D. Field