The Yale Center for British Art reopens today following a $33 million update to the Louis Kahn-designed building.
Local architect George Knight, principal of Knight Architecture, took the reins on the conservation project to bring the 114,000 sq ft site in Connecticut up to scratch. His firm refreshed the architectural finishes throughout the concrete, steel and glass structure, and restored the centre’s Long Gallery.
Knight Architecture also reconfigured gallery spaces on the second, third and fourth floors – in line with Kahn’s original plans for the 1977 building – as well as updating the Entrance Court, an expansive, light-filled space at the front featuring columns and beams.
‘The organization of the building is enormously powerful,’ said Knight, ‘in part, because it possesses an incontestable clarity.’
The Yale Center for British Art, which has the largest collection of British art outside the UK, reopens with exhibitions of modern British art and preindustrial London photography. These will run alongside its permanent collection, exhibiting works by JMW Turner, John Constable, Barbara Hepworth and Thomas Gainsborough among others.
Work to upgrade the building started in 2008, and the museum has been closed since last year as the final phase reached its end.