The Parkways newest addition, the renowned "Barns Museum" is progressively nearing its way to completion. The museum as you may know will house the large private art collection of the late Dr. Albert Barnes, currently located in his former home in Lower Merion. The collection comprises nearly 9,000 pieces of artwork from all cultures and mediums. Dr. Barnes has one of the largest collections of French Impressionist art in the world valued somewhere between $6 billion and $25 billion. The Foundation's move to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway will open its galleries to thousands of tourist and city dwellers, giving it a high profile central location in Philadelphia's Museum District, and position itself to bank some much needed investments.
The new building, designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects will be about 93,000 square feet, 12,000 of which will be dedicated gallery space. Other amenities are a 150 seat auditorium, classrooms, conservation and research rooms, and a 5,000 square foot special exhibitions gallery. The two story building will be covered in Ramon limestone, with traditional looking wooden windows to mimic the light patterns of the original museum. The site plan features several courtyards and gardens surrounding the building with fountains and native plantings, with an outdoor cafe on the north end of the site. Parking will also be located on the north end with a bus loop on 20th street.
Photos courtesy of Philadelphiaheights