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Initial Designs Revealed for Thomas Krens’s Massive New Museum in Northern Massachusetts

Former Guggenheim director Thomas Krens has selected Gluckman Tang architects to design the 160,000-square-foot Global Contemporary Art Museum being planned in Northern Massachusetts, reports ArchDaily’s Karissa Rosenfield. “I have long said that an art museum is an eighteenth-century idea in a nineteenth-century box that more or less fulfilled its structural destiny sometime toward the end of the twentieth century,” Krens said. The museum, which features an L-shaped footprint and repeating series of windows, is expected to be finished in 2018.

Krens announced his ambitious project in August, as previously reported here, and the construction costs are now forecast at around $25 to $30 million. Krens already has a track record of museum building, having been instrumental in founding the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, or Mass MoCA, when he was the director of Williams College Museum of Art. In planning this latest project, he had initially considered China as a potential site, but ultimately decided he wanted to spend more time in the Berkshires, which he envisions turning into a cultural hub, thanks to his new museum, Mass MoCA, and the Clark Art Institute.

“The GCAM is designed to address that issue with what I feel is a model alternative of what a museum can be,” Krens said. It has been reported that the project, as currently conceived, will be funded by international art collectors who are looking for a place to exhibit artworks drawn from their personal collections.