Published: May 9, 2016
NEW HAVEN, CONN. — The Yale Center for British Art, home to the largest collection of British art outside the United Kingdom, reopens its doors on Wednesday, May 11, following an important, multi-year conservation project addressing its renowned building, designed by internationally acclaimed American architect Louis I. Kahn. More than a decade of research on the history of the design, construction and renovation of Kahn’s final building (completed 1977) guided the completion of this three-phase, $33 million project, led by architect George Knight, principal of Knight Architecture LLC.
The third phase renews the center’s public galleries, bringing its lecture hall, internal systems, spaces and amenities up to state-of-the-art standards, while also providing an opportunity for the center to reimagine and reconfigure its presentation of more than 500 works from its permanent collection, spanning five centuries of British art.
The subtle refurbishment of the center will be revealed slowly to visitors, beginning with the beautifully refinished white oak panels in the Entrance Court and Library Court. Also to be admired is the return of the Long Gallery to the original plan, and the refreshed materials and architectural finishes throughout the building. On the second, third, and fourth floors, the public galleries have been renewed and reconfigured to exemplify Kahn’s original vision for intimate aesthetic spaces, including the introduction of “pogo” walls, redesigned according to the architect’s drawing from 1974. Transformations include the addition of a Collections Seminar Room, improved patron amenities in the lecture hall, the introduction of white oak lockers and gender-neutral bathrooms on the lower level and systems upgrades.
The Yale Center for British is at 1080 Chapel Street. For information, 203-432-2800 or www.britishart.yale.edu.
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