The Clark Art Institute

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute opened to the public in 1955 as a home for an extensive private art collection. The Clark is one of the few institutions in the United States that combines a public art museum with research and academic programs and, today, is a leading international center for research and discussion on topics of art and art history. The museum is well-known for its stunning natural environment.

Altieri’s work with The Clark Art Institute began in 2001 with master plan design for the full campus comprising four buildings. The first project implemented was construction of the new 32,000 sf Lunder Center at Stone Hill. Integrated into the landscape with a network of trails and walking paths, Stone Hill features galleries, a cafe, striking views and, most notably, the Williamstown Art Conservation Center, the largest regional conservation center in the country. It was designed with an independent geothermal heating and cooling plant of 120 tons. The next phase of the master plan included construction of a new underground central plant to serve the expanded campus including the Clark Center (comprising gallery space, a pavilion for conferences and events, and another pavilion serving as an entrance to the Museum Building), the original Museum Building (home to the Clark’s permanent collection), and the Manton Research Center (featuring the library, galleries, public reading room, and bookstore). This new central plant features a hybrid cooling system consisting of a 700-ton electric chiller plant coupled with a geothermal system to optimize system capacity and efficiency.  The geothermal system also provides central heating for reheat coils and utilizes a heat recovery chiller. A rain and foundation drainage water-harvesting system supplements cooling tower and water feature makeup and provides gray water to water closets. These innovative central plant and site water harvesting systems led to the project receiving two LEED® Innovation in Design credits, one for reducing water use by 63.8% and one for Exterior Noise Control due to the lack of exterior mechanical equipment. 

Images: Susan Fisher Plotner/Altieri; Andrew J. Sebor/Altieri; Jeff Goldberg/Esto

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Location: Williamstown, MA

Completion Date: 2008 - 2013

Architects: Tadao Ando, Gensler

Awards: LEED Gold 2016

Altieri Services: MEPF

Technical Images