Philadelphia Museum of Art

Philadelphia’s preeminent art museum houses a world-renowned art collection in a landmark building originally opened in 1928. It is one of the country’s foremost destinations in which to see world-class art boasting, among many highlights, the finest public collection of Rodin sculpture in the United States, the largest collection of works by Marcel Duchamp, the greatest collection of Brancusi sculpture outside of Europe, and an exceptional collection of American painting, sculpture, furniture, silver and ceramics.

The Museum has embarked on a physical transformation and renovation supported by a $525 million campaign. The key element, the Core Project, aims to create a significant amount of new public space within the footprint of the landmark building and add considerable new gallery space. Altieri’s work includes concept and schematic designs, design development of all phases together, and the separate contract documentation preparation for each phase of the multi-phase construction project. The entire construction schedule is currently slated to extend over a multi-year period, during which time the Museum will remain open to the public in those areas not affected by the construction. The current concept for the central chiller plant includes provisions to minimize operating costs by responding to utility rate changes on both the short-term and long-term basis.  New air handling units will serve gallery and other program spaces and will maintain the temperature and relative humidity levels required by the collections housed in the spaces. Pre-treatment units will pre-filter, heat and humidify, or cool and dehumidify ventilation air as required based on season, prior to distributing to the gallery units.  As utility cost projections have become less predictable yet more closely aligned to each other, the chiller plant design has evolved to an all-electric chiller plant, with magnetic bearing chillers. New electric service and equipment will be provided to distribute high voltage power throughout the building.  It will be transformed locally for delivery to lighting and power panels in the various wings for end use applications.  New lighting and power systems will be provided for all spaces. New plumbing systems that include ADA access will be provided throughout.

Altieri recently completed the 76-seat Stir restaurant as part of the Museum’s master plan. Stir is the only Gehry-designed restaurant offering fine dining to the public anywhere on the East Coast.

Images: Chuck Wick/Altieri; Philip Steiner/Altieri

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Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Completion Date: Multi-phase multi-year completion

Architects: Gehry Partners LLP

Altieri Services: MEP/FP