With the completion of Phase III, MASS MoCA has become one of the largest contemporary art museums in the country.
Two buildings with a combined 130,000 square feet of undeveloped space create exhibit areas for video, film, and multi-media exhibits as well as events, workshops, and storage. The design continues Mass MoCA’s “museum within the museum” concept by collaborating with artists, foundations and collectors. One collection focuses on 10 pieces by James Turrell. Jenny Holzer exhibits her projections in a specially designed gallery, while Laurie Anderson has an active archive and recording studio. Major works by Louise Bourgeois and Robert Rauschenberg, together with supportive material, are on long term loan through their foundations. Each collection is curated by its author to have its own distinct character. MASS MoCA curates the remaining space, with places for changing installation pieces by emerging artists such as Sarah Oppenheimer.
Phase III is the realization of a 25-year master plan and completes the site circulation plan, encouraging multiple ways to explore the MASS MoCA campus. This phase includes a two-story event space and greenroom support for major music festivals.
With a footprint that encompasses nearly a third of the North Adams business district, the museum is central to the economic revival of the city, and its continued expansion is evidence of the power of its impact on the community. Phase III also continues to improve connections between MASS MoCA and the town of North Adams. Development of the West Main Street access route enhances the museum’s access to the downtown business district, and campus bike paths link the museum to a regional pathway initiative.
“MASS MoCA is the most successful conversion of an industrial building conceived for an entirely different function. [….] What I like best about MASS MoCA is the subtlety of the balance between the old industrial architecture and its new role as a place for the display of contemporary art.” –Paul Goldberger, Pulitzer-Prize winning architecture critic
“I have seen the future, and it is MASS MoCA.” –Lee Rosenbaum, Wall Street Journal
*Images courtesy Mass MoCA, credit Douglas Mason and Michael Moran