The Davis Museum, designed by RAFAEL MONEO in collaboration with Payette Associates, is a 61,000 square foot cultural facility comprising gallery space, a cinema, museum administration offices, art storage, and support areas. It incorporates beautiful architectural spaces and natural lighting with state-of-the-art environmental control, strict security requirements, and functional “back-of-house” areas.
Scott Payette, as project manager for Payette Associates, was responsible for implementing the design from programming through construction. This included participating in design while working in the Moneo studio, coordinating engineering, security, lighting, overseeing construction administration, and design of the permanent exhibition millwork.
The museum was conceived as a teaching museum for the College’s permanent collection, with galleries and facilities for temporary exhibition loans from leading national and international museums. The individual galleries are arranged as a series of adaptable quiet and active spaces which support the viewing of art and the museum experience. The interior space is designed to present a unified view of the encyclopedic collection, allowing near and distant views of works.
Located on the Wellesley campus next to Paul Rudolph’s 1961 Jewett Art Center, it was designed to relate contextually to the older building. The Davis Museum, with its exterior plaza and adjoining monumental stairs, creates an extension of the main college quadrangle, and at the same time completes Rudolph’s original design concept.