Numerous galleries open off from this space in different directions in the museum. The heart of the whole project is a space measuring 61 by 6 metres and more than 10.5 metres tall. The project has an unusual dual nature: on one hand the old building, recognisable by the presence of the original yellow bricks, and on the other a rustic-faced concrete block.
The most difficult aspect of the project was successfully combining the new and the old, identifying the boundaries within which to move in choosing materials and construction solutions. The architects therefore concentrated on locating the right balance between preserving the existing building and creating new spaces which would be both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
Linear design and simple square geometry helped the addition to relate to its context without denaturing it or standing out unduly from it. The project benefited from the features of the existing building, above all the proportions of its spaces and the abundance of natural light.
This is only the first step in implementation of a masterplan including a major expansion of the Philadelphia Museum building. Richard Gluckman's exquisitely sober style is recognisable here, as in the New York studio's other projects, which include museums of the works of Georgia O'Keeffe and Andy Warhol and renovation of the Whitney Museum and the Dia Centre in New York.