We believe art and architecture go hand-in-hand, so we’re proud to have contributed to the design story of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. In 1970, Baskervill was selected to design the museum’s four-story, 77,400-SF South Wing addition, the museum’s second since its opening in 1934. The addition provided space for a library, four new permanent galleries, and a larger special exhibitions gallery, as well as a photography lab, art storage rooms, and staff offices. To match the floor levels in the existing two-story museum, the first level and basement floors were staggered a half story away from the existing first floor, and a sub-basement floor was created three feet below the water table – necessitating waterproof walls, floors, and drilled foundations.

The exterior form and style of the addition was dictated by the existing building’s Renaissance-style aesthetic, with large, arched window openings at the gallery level on the building’s secondary south facade. The main feature of the addition is the two-story Italian Renaissance courtyard with an arcade at gallery level and a paved courtyard at the first floor level.  The courtyard’s walls were created with acoustical materials with plywood backing,  but installed to appear as limestone so the museum could secure artwork and exhibits.

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