Hood Museum of Art Building Renovation, Dartmouth College Hanover property in NH, New Hampshire Postmodern architecture design

Hood Museum of Art Renovation

Hanover Building Expansion, New Hampshire design by Billie Tsien and Tod Williams Architects, USA

post updated January 3, 2024

Controversial Hood Museum of Art Building Renovation Design

Date built: 1985

Original Building Design: Charles Moore Architect

New Building Design: Billie Tsien and Tod Williams

Location: Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, USA

Recently released renderings of a reworking of the Charles Moore-designed Hood Museum in New Hampshire have caused a backlash from fans of the Postmodern architect and author, according to The New York Times.

Hood Museum of Art Building Renovation

image courtesy Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects
Mar 29, 2016

Hood Museum of Art Building Expansion

Ironically the team presenting a new version of the structure, Billie Tsien and Tod Williams, protested when they discovered the Folk Art Museum they designed in Manhattan was being demolished by MoMA to make room for an expansion.

“It’s almost as if they were getting revenge for what MoMA did to their Folk Art Museum,” E. J. Johnson, the author of “Charles Moore: Buildings and Projects 1949-1986,” told The New York Times. “It’s totally insensitive to the Moore building.”

Designed in 1985, the Hood Museum, located on Dartmouth’s campus in Hanover, was one of the key works of Charles Moore, whom critic Paul Goldberger called “our age’s greatest architectural enthusiast.”

Hood Museum of Art Building
photo by Daderot – Own work, CC0, http://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31293377

The Tsien-Williams plan would convert the open courtyard into a covered concourse, which they contend would both renovate the structure and add 40 percent more gallery space to the building, while keeping much of Moore’s design intact. Critics argue that covering up Charles Moore’s ceremonial entrance, one of the eclectic courtyards that became a signature stylistic touch, ruins the “connective tissue” of the museum—which links the 19th-century, brick-clad Wilson Hall and the Hopkins Center for the Performing Arts from 1962—as well as the overall structure.

Hood Museum of Art Building Renovation design
image courtesy Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects

Charles Moore Foundation director Kevin Keim told The Times that the renovation wrecks the entire original conception of the building, and that “Charles Moore deserves far better than this aggressive, ill-designed, shallowly considered project.” Others, including Roger A.M. Stern, also expressed their dissatisfaction with the proposal.

Completion of the $50 million renovation project is due in 2019.

Website: Hood Museum of Art Expansion Controversy – article in the NY Times

Hood Museum of Art Expansion

Information from the Hood Museum of Art:

The galleries are now closed for deinstallation, with excavation, construction, and reinstallation likely to continue through 2018.

A Front Door for the Arts

Although the Hood has served students well for three decades, visibly it has kept a low profile—to the point that visitors to the museum sometimes struggle to find it. The reimagined Hood will make a bolder statement about the significance of the arts within the life of Dartmouth. Coupled with planned renovations to the Hopkins Center for the Arts, the expanded Hood will provide the Arts & Innovation District with an arresting new front door to the world.

The Hood will proudly proclaim its presence and encourage more students and visitors than ever to come inside and explore the museum’s collections.

The Hood will also become a robust center of creativity: a place for students to gather, discuss the arts, explore the intersection of the arts with other disciplines, and collaborate on projects that can only be imagined today.

Campus Crossroads

The bolder character of the reimagined Hood begins at its entrance. The firm Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects|Partners has proposed a striking entrance, visible from the Green and Wheelock Street, that invites exploration. Approaching the new main entrance, students and guests will pass through the North Plaza, sure to be a natural meeting place as it will welcome those arriving at the Hood from any direction on campus. The North Plaza will invite conversations and impromptu performances on its many gentle steps and supply an inspirational setting for sculpture and other installations.

Entering the Hood, students, faculty, and guests will find themselves in the Museum Atrium, one of the signature spaces in the expanded Hood. This will be a gateway that proclaims the centrality of the arts. The Atrium will also provide a space for commissioned works of art and a flexible venue for events, including dinners and performances for upwards of 100 guests.

Catalyst for Learning

The three new object-study classrooms in the museum’s Center for Object-Based Inquiry will create unparalleled opportunities for study and research in a museum setting. These classrooms will address the increased
curricular demand for the direct study of original works.

With technology integral to their design, the new object-study classrooms will better enable faculty to contextualize objects through the use of film, the Internet, the Hood’s comprehensive database of its collections, and other forms of new media. Students will have the opportunity to communicate directly and in real time with primary sources—artists at work, anthropologists in the field, historians at peer museums—to delve even more deeply
into the creation, context, and meaning of individual works.

Showcasing the Collections

The Hood expansion will add five new galleries, designed to showcase the museum’s extensive collections and encourage interdisciplinary teaching through objects from the collections. These spaces will accommodate the display of art from different cultural and historic periods in a variety of media. Planned in concert with the curricular needs of Dartmouth and the interest of the community, the galleries will feature frequent rotations of objects to fully capitalize upon the richness of the collections and present new and engaging experiences for repeat visitors.

Hood Museum of Art, Hanover, New Hampshire

The Hood is home to world-renowned collections that currently cannot be exhibited frequently enough. Its rich array of holdings span centuries, media, cultures, and artists, including:

Works by Rembrandt van Rijn, Francisco Goya, Pablo Picasso, Mark Rothko, Georgia O’Keeffe, Richard Serra, Andy Warhol, and Frank Stella, among others.
Native American holdings—nearly 7,000 objects—ranging from archaeological materials to 19th century beadwork to hundreds of items created by contemporary Native American artists.
A 2,400-object Melanesian collection encompassing important works from every major island in the region.
The extraordinary Owen and Wagner Collection of Contemporary Aboriginal Australian Art spanning five decades of creative activity (the Hood is one of the foremost repositories of contemporary Aboriginal Australian art outside of its home continent).
In all, the Hood boasts one of the largest and finest university collections in the country. As contemporary artists continue to push the boundaries of painting, photography, sculpture, video, installation art, and other genres, the new galleries will provide the space to showcase, not just the present and past, but the very future of art.

Website: Hood Museum of Art Expansion

Tod Williams Billie Tsien

Address: 4 E Wheelock St, Hanover, NH 03755, United States
Phone: +1 603-646-2808

Location: Hood Museum of Art, 4 E Wheelock St, Hanover, NH 03755, United States

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