Centerbrook has completed a new Master Plan for renovating and expanding the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College. The project encompasses a nearby building and provides art study classrooms, galleries, museum staff offices, and systems upgrades. It also establishes a prominent new entrance on the famous Dartmouth Green. Centerbrook designed the original Hood Museum, which opened in 1985.
The plan connects the existing museum to the adjacent, three-story Wilson Hall, a 1888 Neo-Romanesque building that originally housed the college library. Centerbrook’s plan converts Wilson from its current role supporting the Hopkins Center for the Performing Arts into museum space. The building’s steeply-pitched roofs will accommodate expansive and high-ceilinged new galleries as well as staff offices, visitor services within a new spacious lobby, a classroom for general studies, and a classroom for Museum Education programs. A new addition connecting the two buildings at all floor levels will allow the development alongside Wilson of a well-equipped new Museum Learning Center where students will be able to study art from the Dartmouth’s collection. The new addition also will house a vertical circulation space and museum support services.
With some improvements for access to the handicapped, Wilson Hall’s front door will become the Hood Museum’s new principal entry and be transformed by large glass windows to convey transparency and engage passersby on the busy campus green.
Dartmouth College has been collecting objects since 1772, just three years after its founding. With about 65,000 items under its care, the collection now is among the oldest and largest of any college or university in the country.