Muscarelle names architect for expansion

sbirkenmeyer@vagazette.com

The Muscarelle Museum of Art broke attendance records with its recent exhibit featuring works from painter Sandro Botticelli. Museum officials announced plans to build on that momentum with an expansion to the facility.

Architecture firm Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects will design the development. The firm was founded by César Pelli, who is known for buildings like the World Financial Center complex in Manhattan and the Petronas Twin Towers in Malaysia.

"I am honored to be designing the Muscarelle Museum at William & Mary," Pelli said in a news release. "I want to create a beautiful home for the outstanding collection and the entire (William and Mary) community."

The expanded museum will be a part of the Martha Wren Briggs Center for the Visual Arts, a new, multi-million dollar facility. This, alongside new construction and renovations at the front of the college's campus, will form the William and Mary Arts Quarter. It's all part of a larger effort to celebrate the arts on campus, much like Thomas Jefferson did when he helped the college become the first in the country to include a fine arts curriculum.

"The Muscarelle has made amazing progress on many fronts in recent years," William and Mary President Taylor Reveley said in a news release. "The Martha Wren Briggs Center will be a significant addition to the campus, and we look forward to working with Pelli Clarke Pelli."

The design firm intends to build a facility that's both elegant and functional, highlighting the art on display.

There is currently no time frame for when construction is expected to begin, when it might be completed or how much the expansion will cost.

Birkenmeyer can be reached by phone at 757-790-3029.

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