November 18, 2002
by Canadian Architect
The new Peabody Essex Museum is adding to its campus a new building designed by Moshe Safdie. The new wing is a major part of the $125 million transformation of the Peabody Essex, the longest continuously running museum in the U.S. The project encompasses 250,000 square feet of new and renovated public and gallery spaces and features the reinstallation of the museum’s entire permanent collection of art and culture from North America, Asia, the Pacific Islands and Africa. The new museum is the centrepiece of a Master Plan that Safdie, working with landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh, created for Peabody Essex’ extensive campus of galleries, historic homes, and outdoor spaces. Safdie’s design created a public space at the heart of the new campus with a soaring glass roof over an indoor street and a courtyard that will serve as a central gathering space in the tradition of the new England village green. Gently curved glass roofs of convex and concave forms allow natural light into the expansive courtyard and create a community space that unifies the existing museum structures with the new wing, making a cohesive whole of the complex.