in 2010, the norton museum of art embarked upon the most comprehensive expansion in its history. in order to house its growing collection and its audiences, the florida-based institution tasked foster + partners with transforming the entirety of its 6.3 acre campus. in 2016, the project broke ground, while plans for a public garden were unveiled just last year. with a grand opening scheduled for february 2019, designboom visited the site to take a look at the project’s progress.

norton museum art site visit
construction work is well underway in west palm beach, florida
image © designboom | video © foster + partners

 

 

it is hoped that the expanded norton museum of art will significantly enrich visitor experience, while enhancing the institution’s reputation on an international scale. foster + partners’ plans include the addition of 12,000 square feet of new galleries — a 35% increase in exhibition space — as well as a new 210-seat auditorium. the 42,000-square-foot west wing will not only provide more floor area, but will also reorient the norton’s entrance to the main thoroughfare of south dixie highway.

norton museum art site visit
the new west wing will reorient the norton’s entrance to the main thoroughfare of south dixie highway
image © designboom

 

 

other modifications include a dedicated education center with a student gallery, and two new classrooms for adults, families, and school children. new public spaces, including versatile indoor and outdoor dining spaces, special event spaces, and a museum store also form part of the plans. meanwhile, the restoration of historic houses on cranesnest way will accommodate an artist-in-residence program. finally, the expansive gardens will feature subtropical landscaping alongside a new outdoor sculpture collection.

norton museum art site visit
the museum’s future entrance
image © designboom

 

 

the inspiration behind foster + partners’ ‘museum within a garden’ concept stems from a banyan tree, which was planted when the institution first opened in 1941 and will anchor the museum’s new entrance. the expansion’s roofline curves around its canopy and shades the inviting entrance plaza, which ushers visitors into the museum and onto the campus. in total, 82 mature trees will be planted before the museum reopens to the public in february 2019. see designboom’s previous coverage of the project here.

norton museum art site visit
a banyan tree, which was planted when the institution first opened in 1941, will anchor the new entrance
image © designboom

norton museum art site visit
the expanded institution will contain a new restaurant that can operate independently of the museum
image © designboom

norton museum art site visit
renderings indicate the future use of the space
image © designboom

norton museum art site visit
the auditorium will contain 210 seats
image © designboom

norton museum art site visit
the expanded venue will be capable of hosting a range of events
image © designboom

norton museum art site visit
a dedicated education center will include classrooms for all ages
image © designboom

norton museum art site visit
the norton’s grand opening is scheduled for february 2019
image © designboom

norton museum art site visit
carefully positioned openings ensure a constant relationship with nature
image © designboom

norton museum art site visit
scale model illustrating the size of the expansion and its relationship with the campus
image © designboom

foster + partners' norton museum of art extension in florida breaks ground
see designboom’s previous coverage of the project here

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