Studio: Bruner/Cott Architects
Project: MASS MoCA
Location: North Adams, MA, USA
Credit: Michael Moran, Douglas Mason, Bruner/Cott Architects
The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) is among the largest contemporary art museum in the United States and an example of how modern design can transform the post-industrial American factory. Housed in a vast 17-acre industrial complex built in the late 1800s for the Arnold Print Works company, the museum was completed in three phases, initially opening to international acclaim in 1999. Today, the museum comprises 280,000 square feet of galleries, performing arts venues, multimedia spaces, and amenities. Recently completed, Building 6 houses a unique series of ‘museums within the museum’, showcasing the work of globally-renowned artists such as Turrell, Rauschenberg, and Holzer.
Building 6 completes a 3-phase masterplan by Bruner/Cott beginning with extensive demolition and hazardous materials abatement to reclaim the former brownfield site. Adapting program to buildings to preserve their texture and scale, the existing structures generated spaces that challenged conventional notions of what a museum should look like, do, and be, serving as a catalyst for widespread rethinking of this building type.
With a footprint that encompasses nearly a third of the North Adams business district, the museum is central to the economic revival of the city, and its continued expansion is evidence of the power of its impact on the community.