12.3.2024

Bruce Museum

The Bruce Museum is a community based, world-class cultural institution highlighting art, science, and natural history exhibitions.

In 2014, following a national search and design competition, the Bruce embarked on a journey to revitalize its campus to carry the institution into the future. Selected as result of the competition, EskewDumezRipple led a comprehensive programming study to dig deep into the needs of the museum and support its ability to serve as a community resource.

The resulting project is a comprehensive renovation of the existing museum’s 32,500-square-foot structure along with a 42,000-square-foot addition. Comprising three floors, the expansion more than doubles the existing area of the facility and creates a welcoming visitor experience with clear circulation, generous galleries, and sufficient exhibition, storage, and archival spaces for the Museum’s growing collection.

Since opening, the museum’s new spaces have quickly become a catalyst for diverse forms of engagement. The double-height lobby, café, and gift shop seamlessly merge to create an open and free-flowing public space. A new lecture hall has become a hub for community programming, celebratory gatherings, and public lectures and receptions. New changing and permanent galleries enable the museum to host new, ambitious exhibitions and provide opportunities for engagement and education.

Drawing inspiration from the unique geology of its site and surrounding region, the design team developed a delicately striated façade of cast stone and glass inspired by stone quarries found along the Connecticut coast. This exterior, animated by the play of light across the façade, dramatically changes appearance as the sun traverses the sky over the course of the day and time of year.

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