MFA Boston Conservation Center, Boston, MA
The MFA, Boston’s new Conservation Center was designed to bring together the majority of the museum’s previously dispersed conservation disciplines, and to provide state-of-the-art studios to facilitate the preservation, care and support of one of the world’s great art collections. The 22,000 sf Center occupies the top two floors of the museum’s White Wing, consolidating conservation disciplines of paintings, objects, furniture, frames, time-based media and conservation science, as well as a mount-making and exhibition prep studio with metal and wood shops.
Five new saw-tooth skylights provide generous natural light to flexible and versatile examination and treatment spaces, fostering collaboration and interaction amongst the disciplines. The renovation also allows the MFA to expand its programs for the public and visiting scholars with 1,500 sf public engagement area consisting of a Conservation Learning Center (CLC) and a dedicated Conservation Seminar Room. The CLC is designed to engage and expose the visiting public to the important work that conservators do through views, displays and demonstrations. The Seminar Room provides space for lectures, seminars, and classes for the public as well as for colleagues within the MFA and across other museums.
The renovation provides all new mechanical systems, including a new rooftop chiller, to provide museum grade climate control conditions independent of the central plant. In addition to the 5 new skylights, envelope modifications include roof and window replacement and comprehensive insulation and vapor barrier assemblies.
Client: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Design Team: Mandi Lew, SJ Kim, Kelly Pyle (SAA), Altieri Sebor Wieber LLC (MEP/FP), Thornton Thomasetti (Structural), Jeffrey Nash Lighting Design, Norton Remmer Code Consultant, OEHS2 (Environmental Health + Safety), Acentech (Acoustical), WJE (Roofing)
Builder: Consigli Construction Co. LLC
Owner’s Representation: Ascent (now Anser Advisory)
Photographs: Paul Warchol
Articles: A New Conservation Center | Museum of Fine Arts Boston (mfa.org)