Sir David Adjaye is adding a new chapter to the long history of the Princeton University Art Museum. The architect, who is known the world over for his design of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, has unveiled plans for a stone, bronze, and glass structure that replaces the existing building in the heart of the Ivy League university’s New Jersey campus.
Adjaye’s eponymous firm, which has offices in Ghana’s capital city of Accra, in London, and in New York, is the project architect. His team is working in collaboration with Cooper Robertson, the project’s executive architect. The new building, which Adjaye called a “campus within a campus” in the September announcement about the project, nearly doubles the square footage of the museum. Dynamic and interactive, the new building, Adjaye said, “is a space of genuine inquiry where the exhibition of diverse practices, learning as a synthesis of knowledge, and cross-cultural connections weave together into a singular experience that encompasses a multiplicity of ideas and people.”
In announcing the new plans, museum director James Steward noted that Adjaye, an “architect with an artist’s vision and sculptural ability,” produced a design that “will give us a building that fosters new modes of investigation, reflects and deepens our commitment to equity and inclusion, and affords new moments of aspiration.”
The museum required an expansion, Steward said in a statement, with around 200,000 annual visitors now expected. The new design increases educational spaces by 76%, exhibition areas by 38%, and visitor amenities by 80%.
Adjaye’s design, according to the announcement, “embodies the museum’s longstanding commitment to serve as a hub and a gathering place, a nexus for the arts and humanities—a metaphor for the college campus at its best—that affords encounters with cultures past and present from around the world and seeks to foster stronger citizenship among its university, local, and global communities.”