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Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum’s new wing is sleek, modern

Gardner Museum new wing

The Gardner Museum's new wing opened up in January. For more pictures, click on the picture.

I go by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum every day on my way to and from class, but every time I pass by, I love looking at the new wing. Even though it blends well with the environment, it’s still quite a striking sight.

After closing for two months for construction, the museum hosted a week of inaugural events to debut the wing. It reopened to the general public on Jan. 19.

The Gardner Museum spent $114 million on the addition, even drafting Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano to design it. The new wing’s design is a piece of art itself: The new wing sits below the level of the original building to both show deference to the old wing and enhance the visual appeal of the Evans Way Park area, while a large rectangular part of the building “floats” above the first floor.

According to Boston.com,

“We were very clear that we wanted the addition to respect the historic building,’’ said museum director Anne Hawley. “The phrase we used was that it should ‘float quietly behind it’ but in no way upstage’’ the palace.

Expanding the museum space by 70,000 square feet, the addition houses a new lobby/ticketing center, greenhouse, performance and gallery spaces, gift shop, cafe, storage areas and even two apartments for artists- and scholars-in-residence.

Sara, an architecture student, visited the museum for the first time Monday morning.

“I think it’s interesting because it’s so different from the original,” she said of the new wing’s design. “It’s interesting to see how they’ll connect the two [wings].”

For more pictures, click on the photo or visit the slideshow on Flikr.

Photo is a picture I took Monday, Feb. 13, for a photojournalism assignment.

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