Photo: Tom Crane


Barnes Foundation

New 93,000-SF building provides a new home for an esteemed fine arts collection and serves the education mission of non-profit organization which is dedicated to teaching the public about the fine arts.  Acoustic and AV system design services centered on classrooms, seminar rooms, a 100-seat auditorium, galleries and the central 7,500-SF glass atrium public gathering space.

The large open space’s intended use for hosting occasional lecture and special events required analysis and design elements to control space reverberance.  AD’s design input enabled an appropriate environment for public assembly and accommodate speaking and music events.  

AV system design included equipping the auditorium with performance audio and video systems.  AV systems for learning spaces and conference rooms include features for distance learning, archival audio and video recording and broadcast integration.

Originally located in Merion, PA, the foundation and museum faced economic difficulties and saw the move to downtown Philadelphia as a way to offer greater public access to its fine arts collection.   A judicial ruling permitted the Foundation to move with the stipulation that the collection be displayed in the same arrangement, disposition, and dimensions as the original facility.  A 12,000 SF gallery fulfills this requirement.  While showcasing the existing collection, the new building provides greater capacity to showcase, preserve, celebrate and provide additional exposure to art through galleries for temporary exhibits and a state-of-the-art conservation lab.

Barnes Foundation

Philadelphia, PA

Project Type
New Construction/ Relocation

$80 Million

Square Footage



Seat Count

Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects

LEED Status

The atrium space is multi-functional in serving as a public gathering area and as a setting for various public and private events.   WebPhoto2_Barnes   project-museum001-170x140x1

Relocation to new state of the art facility in downtown Philadelphia opens access to broader population and provides enhanced capabilities for art conservation, education and exposure.