The Columbus Museum of Art (CMA) was built in the 1930s and expanded in the 1970s, and was again in need of expansion. The board commissioned a master plan centered on the idea of expansion, but in the meantime they needed to renovate the historic museum building in order to continue providing guests with a great museum-going experience as well as to prepare for future expansion.
CMA’s original building has its formal “front” on Broad Street—a significant urban corridor. A 1970s expansion included an addition and parking lot to the north of the 1930s building. The new addition will envelope the 1970s wing and expand the museum building toward the east. The historic gallery building will remain as the centerpiece of the expanded museum.
This “paint and fix” project turned into a project to bring back the spirit of the original museum. The museum’s premier special events space was uninviting in terms of accessibility, scale, acoustics, and lighting. In addition, it had begun its life as an open-air courtyard and was subsequently enclosed with a heavy ceiling that altered the feel of the space significantly. Gallery spaces were “tired.” The museum wasn’t able to adequately serve patrons who wanted a modern, interactive experience.
Distinguishing factors of work
* Derby Court floor raised (now fully accessible) - Derby Court open air defining character restored - Chair lift eliminated - Architectural details restored/repaired - Galleries renovated to recapture original feel
* Raising of Derby Court floor allowed removal of support columns … previously underused space now houses Center for Creativity, wet lab, orientation room, Bellows Room, and video lab - Auditorium enlarged/improved
* New group entrance created
* Offices/conference rooms created - Extensive use of daylighting
* Prepare for future expansion/new wing - axis with Derby Court, entrance, anticipating future needs - Skip-stop elevator connects all levels