Norton Museum of Art

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Application Type

Civic Trust Awards

Level of Award

Award

Region

USA

Local Authority Area

Not in UK/ROI

Information about this scheme

The Norton was built in 1941 as an elegant series of Art Deco-inspired single-story pavilions around a central courtyard. Subsequent expansion broke the symmetry of the original arrangement, and the axial configuration was undermined by the relocation of the main entrance to the side of the building.

The new masterplan restores the logic of the original plan, reasserting the clarity of the main circulation, balancing the different building heights, introducing new exhibition galleries and education spaces.

The new facilities include an auditorium, shop, restaurant and a unique social meeting space – the Great Hall – as well as the Great Lawn, suitable for screening films outdoors, all aimed at attracting a wider local and international audience.

In addition to providing new gallery spaces, the design carefully peels away layers of subsequent extensions to reveal the original fabric of the historic galleries. The campus provides the much- anticipated outdoor setting for the museum’s growing sculpture collection and reinforces the relationship between the building and the landscape as it seeks to create an enhanced visitor experience.

A new street frontage and entrance on South Dixie Highway to the west redefines the museum’s relationship with the city. One of the main protagonists for the design of the new entrance plaza is an iconic Banyan tree that was planted when the museum was first built.

The extension’s new shimmering roof curves around the tree canopy, uniting the entire ensemble while sheltering the entrance plaza. Behind the canopy, three new double-height pavilions mediate the low-rise galleries and the existing three- story Nessel Wing, unifying the whole composition with a shared palette of white, horizontally-banded stucco.

The garden celebrates Florida’s rich and diverse flora, incorporating native trees and flowers to provide shaded walkways, and an intimate setting for visitors to enjoy the artwork.

The landscape forms the backdrop of the museum’s ongoing education program for schoolchildren, encouraging a greater awareness of the collection and Florida’s environmental heritage.

Credits

Architect

Foster + Partners

Client

Norton Museum of Art

Structural Engineer

Magnusson Klemencic Associates

Main Contractor

Gilbane

Landscape Architect

Foster + Partners/ EDSA

Quantity Surveyor

Gardiner & Theobald

Primary Use Class

Class D1e - Museums