Nurturing Gardner


At Tocci when we find a good piece of architecture, we can’t stop talking about it. This project is no different, it respectfully balances the traditional with the modern – something we think is really cool.

Just as the press about Renzo Piano’s addition to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum starts to fade in the local media, Metropolis magazine picks up the ball with its own piece entitled.”  RPBW worked with the museum to deliver a project that relieved (programmatic) pressure from the existing museum and breathed new life into the institution by giving it a sleek new face.

The old museum, once Boston-socialite Isabella Stewart Gardener’s home, had inherited many of the needs of a modern building. To meet those needs it sacrificed precious gallery space for mechanical rooms and necessary back of house program. Now much of the operating system and administration lives in the new addition, freeing up space for Isabella Stewart Gardener’s collections.

The glass dominated design lets everyone know it’s a 21st century building, and like it’s neighbor across The Fens (The MFA), it respects the past by not trying to cover it up or drastically change it. The extra space also allowed it to join the cohort of Boston museums with a nightlife component in hopes of bringing in new life.



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