Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery renovation, Wesleyan University

Middletown, USA
Belmont Freeman Architects

The Zilkha Gallery is part of Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts, a complex of iconic modern buildings designed by Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates in 1970. BFA’s commission was to design a renovation of the building that would upgrade all building systems and make the gallery more compatible to the display of contemporary art, while preserving the monumental character of
the architecture. The work included restoration of limestone walls, new mechanical systems, museum-grade lighting, daylight control, roof and skylight replacements, and art display rigging. The floor was raised two inches to accommodate new radiant heating and finished with cork. Acoustical plaster on
the ceiling tamed the gallery’s reverberance, while concealing wiring for the new lighting and life safety systems. In addition to gallery space, the program included a new entrance lobby and a mezzanine seminar room.

Winner of AIA Connecticut (2004) and AIA New York State (2006) Design Awards

Photos: Chris Wesnofske

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