Norman Foster has unveiled Foster + Partners’ master plan for the renovated Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, Florida. One of the biggest changes will be the relocation of the main entrance from the side of the building to new street frontage in reference to architect Marion Sims Wyeth’s original plans in 1941. Wyeth designed the museum as a series of Art Deco-inspired single-story pavilions around a central courtyard, but expansions and the addition of a car park have altered the venue’s symmetry over the years.
At the reinstated entrance, a metal roof canopy floats above three new double-height pavilions built in the same white stone as the existing wing to which they are connected. The shimmering roof is designed “to cast diffuse patterns of light in an abstracted reflection of people and flowing water below,” according to a statement about the project.
The pavilions house an auditorium, event space, and a transparent grand hall that acts as the museum’s social hub. The design includes a new museum shop and restaurant as well. Foster + Partners also proposes the concept of a museum within a garden, accomplished through a central courtyard, native trees and flowers that provide shaded walkways, and the transformation of the parking lot into a sculpture lawn. In addition, a row of houses at the perimeter of the museum’s expanded grounds will accommodate an artist’s residence, guest house, and research facilities.
The master plan eventually calls for new galleries and an education center; it also offers the possibility for two new wings for additional galleries.
Images courtesy of Foster + Partners