The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute Announces Work Architecture Company to Design Clark@MASS MoCA

For Immediate Release

May 27, 2008

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA-The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute announced today that WORK Architecture Company (WORKac) will design Clark@MASS MoCA, a new exhibition and storage space located at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) in neighboring North Adams. The new 29,000-square-foot space will include public galleries as well as storage for a portion of the Clark’s art collection, library, and archives, providing opportunities for the Clark to further its programming goals and expand its exhibition space, while extending the ongoing collaborative relationship between the two institutions.

Completion of the project, the first museum design by WORKac, is projected for 2011, complementing the Clark's two-phased expansion and enhancement project. The second phase includes a building designed by Tadao Ando, housing loft-like, light-filled galleries for special exhibitions as well as the renovation of the Clark’s two existing campus buildings by Annabelle Selldorf. This June the Clark will open Stone Hill Center, also designed by Ando, which will house the Williamstown Art Conservation Center and intimately scaled exhibition galleries.

The award-winning firm of WORKac, which is based in New York, this year won the prestigious MoMA/PS1 Young Architects Program and will participate in the 2008 Venice Architecture Biennale.

“The selection of WORKac testifies to the Clark’s ongoing commitment to advancing scholarship and public understanding of art in all forms,” says Clark Director Michael Conforti. “By partnering with this young and highly innovative firm, the Clark continues to challenge visitors to think about visual arts in new ways. WORKac is extremely creative in its solutions to both pragmatic need and programmatic ambitions. Amale Andraos and Dan Wood have demonstrated that they are attuned to our mission, our program, and our public. We are looking forward to working with them on this exciting new initiative.”

“It is an honor and a privilege to be selected for this commission by the Clark, which has such a distinguished presence in the art world and is establishing itself as a patron of great architecture,” stated Amale Andraos and Dan Wood, founders and principals of WORK Architecture Company. “We are excited to join architects Tadao Ando and Annabelle Selldorf in realizing the future of the Clark and look forward to working in North Adams and further expressing and facilitating the collaboration between two extraordinary institutions.”

The Clark@MASS MoCA

In 2007 the Clark acquired 29,000 square feet of building space at the 13-acre former factory site in North Adams, Massachusetts. The area includes a prominent building facing the entrance to the MASS MoCA campus.The Clark’s collaborative relationship with MASS MoCA began in 1996, when the Clark announced plans to fund exhibitions and multidisciplinary programs organized in North Adams by students in the Clark/Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art. In addition to publicly demonstrating the Clark’s support of MASS MoCA, the collaboration furthers the Clark's educational mission by providing graduate students with the opportunity to gain experience in all aspects of exhibition preparation, including the use of new technologies and multimedia.

The inaugural Clark@MASS MoCA project was Desire..., a 1996 exhibition of music, photography, and large-scale installation pieces by David Byrne. In 1997, the Clark and MASS MoCA together organized the conference “Reimagining Museums for New Art,” which focused on the changing role of contemporary art museums. The conference was among the first in a series about the role of museums and the study of art history that the Clark has organized under the auspices of its now-thriving Research and Academic Program. For the opening of MASS MoCA in 1999, the Clark organized the installation Tree Logic by Natalie Jeremijenko, which remains on view as one of the most prominent permanent installations in North Adams. Six live trees are inverted and suspended from a truss, so that their growth responses are displayed over time.

WORKac

WORK Architecture Company (WORKac) was founded in 2003 by Amale Andraos and Dan Wood. The 14-person firm is engaged in projects at all scales, from residential and commercial interiors to private residences, housing, institutional buildings, and urban planning.

Dedicated to the urban realm, WORKac recently completed the new 35,000-square-foot headquarters building for Diane von Furstenberg Studio in the Meatpacking District of New York City, adapting a 19th-century masonry building that is similar in character to the buildings at MASS MoCA. The firm has been selected as the winner of a new 300,000-square-foot cultural center in Xi’an, China, as part of the “New Silk Road Park” invited competition. Other recent projects include new offices and event spaces for the public arts group Creative Time, a new space for the D’Amelio Terras Gallery, and a 6,000-square-foot residential loft for fashion designer Lela Rose. WORKac completed the master plan for the new BAM Cultural District in Brooklyn and is currently designing the district’s new public spaces and streetscapes, in collaboration with Ken Smith Landscape Architect.

In 2005 and 2008, WORKac received an American Institute of Architects Design Prize; in 2006, the firm was selected for the first “New York New Practices” portfolio prize and was one of 10 international offices featured in Architectural Record’s annual “Design Vanguard.” The firm has been featured in numerous publications and this year was selected for the Architectural League’s “Emerging Voices” lecture series and the Architecture Foundation’s “Winter Nights” lecture series in London.

Andraos and Wood have taught extensively since 2004. Dan Wood, AIA, received his BA from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree from Columbia University, and Amale Andraos received her B. Arch. from McGill University and her master’s degree from Harvard University. Prior to forming WORKac, Wood was a partner in Rem Koolhaas's Office for Metropolitan Architecture, where Andraos also practiced.

The Clark

Located in Williamstown, Massachusetts, in the picturesque Berkshire Hills, the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute is one of only a few institutions in the United States that is both a public art museum and an international research and academic center and incubator of new ideas in the visual arts. The Clark’s magnificent 140-acre woodland campus provides an unparalleled opportunity for experiencing art within a natural setting.

In 2003, the Clark unveiled designs by Tadao Ando and Reed Hilderbrand Associates for a comprehensive expansion and campus enhancement. The Clark’s new buildings will be Ando’s first museum project set within a rural American landscape. The project encompasses Stone Hill Center, which is the first phase of the project, as well as an Exhibition, Visitor, and Conference Center, housing enhanced special exhibition galleries and providing much-needed additional space for conferences and symposia. A dramatic reflecting pool will connect all of the buildings on the main campus and reorient them toward the beauty of Stone Hill. Enhanced visitor amenities, such as a new shop and restaurant in the Exhibition, Visitor, and Conference Center, will support the Clark’s role as a public art museum. The project also includes the renovation by Selldorf Architects of the original museum building, which houses the permanent collection, and new gallery space for American art and decorative arts. The Manton Research Center that serves as the main visitor entrance will be renovated to provide more space for the Clark’s library and its special collection of works on paper.

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