The University of Michigan Museum of Art is one of the nation’s largest and most respected academic museums. Allied Works was chosen by then-Director James Steward to design an expansion that doubles the program and collection spaces of the original museum while restoring historic Alumni Memorial Hall. The addition occupies one of the last buildable sites on the historic campus, completing the primary public façade of the university.
Completed in 2009, the project created a more accessible institution, and provides beautiful new spaces for the exhibition of the collection. The new Maxine and Stuart Frankel Family Wing opens the museum to the campus and community by lightening the building envelope and permitting greater access to common areas at ground level. The addition comprises three gallery wings that radiate from a central atrium, and defines corresponding exterior rooms as spaces of mediation with the surrounding context. The pairing of native stone with translucent and transparent veils of structure and glass balances the historic character of the university with the desire to create profound new connections between art, the landscape and the community.