New Norton

Norton Museum of Art has selected Gilbane Building Company to manage the expansion and renovation of its building and campus in downtown West Palm Beach, Florida, US.

Foster + Partners has been contracted for the design and construction of an extension to the museum to increase gallery and exhibitions space, while offering more educational and programme areas.

As part of the New Norton project, the museum entrance will be re-orientated from the south to the west, along the main thoroughfare of S Dixie Highway.

New Norton’s exterior will be differentiated with elements such as articulating glazing, structural glazing, architectural pre-cast concrete panes, reflection ponds and architectural roofing.

During the expansion phase, New Norton’s design will add about 50,000ft² of programme space with a new 200-seat auditorium, meeting rooms, an entrance with 44ft-high ceilings in the great hall, an arrival forecourt, restaurant, 15,000ft² of extra gallery and support spaces.

"The construction of the museum is highly technical and challenging."

Around 60,000ft² of the current building will be upgraded and re-used in the expansion, which will also see the demolition of about 35,000ft².

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Gilbane Building Company vice-president Tim Hensey said: "The construction of the museum is highly technical and challenging.

"The team we have dedicated to this project has exceptional depth of experience in dealing with the complex issues of constructing this facility. We are truly honoured to be part of the growth of the Norton Museum."

New Norton has served as a cultural centerpiece for art in South Florida since its founding in 1941 and holds collections of American, Chinese, Contemporary, European, and Photographic art.

Construction is set to be completed by the end of 2018, with the museum opening scheduled in mid-to-late 2016.

Image: The New Norton expansion and renovation in West Palm Beach. Photo: courtesy of Foster + Partners.