New Britain, Connecticut


The New Britain Museum of American Art is one of Connecticut’s great cultural treasures. Set in a landscape designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, NBMAA supports a growing collection of American art, and innovative public programs. ABA’s master plan first explored the potential of the current and alternate sites for expansion. ABA examined audience, program requirements, collection growth, and conservation and storage needs.

Subsequently, ABA completed a new 43,000-square-foot gallery and education building connected to the museum’s original historic house. Scaled for its residential setting, the new design supports exhibitions, visitor services, education, lectures, and community programs. The new building offers views to the adjacent park and incorporates gardens and outdoor terraces as gathering areas. This design vocabulary joins interconnected, domestically scaled massing with a reductive materials vocabulary: Kasota limestone, metal, glass, and wood. ABA’s second expansion, completed in 2015, accommodates additional offices, education spaces and galleries for the museum’s growing collection and program needs.

NBMAA received design awards from the American Institute of Architects New England Chapter and the Boston Society of Architects.

Location: New Britain, Connecticut
Project Size: 10,000 sf renovation; 43,000 sf Phase I new construction; 17,300 sf Phase II new construction

Project Team: Ann Beha FAIA, Steven Gerrard AIA, Ian Miller AIA, Ric Panciera AIA, Tala Klick, Randa Ghattas (ABA), LeMessurier Consultants (Structural); Altieri (MEP); Close, Jensen & Miller (Civil); Richard Burck Landscape (Landscape); Fuss & O’Neil (Civil / Landscape); Sladen Feinstein Integrated Lighting (Lighting); Acentech (Acoustics); Clifford LaFontaine (Exhibit Design); Downes Construction (Construction Manager); Peter Vanderwarker (Photography)