Award recognizes excellence in sustainability initiatives in new Clark Center building

For Immediate Release
May 9, 2016
Williamstown, Massachusetts—The United States Green Building Council recently presented its prestigious Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification to the Clark Art Institute’s new Clark Center, recognizing achievement in sustainability initiatives incorporated into all aspects of the building’s design and construction.
The Clark Center and its underground physical plant building were completed in 2014 as part of a campus expansion program that integrated construction of the new facilities with a sweeping redesign of the landscape. The building was designed by Tadao Ando Architects, Osaka, Japan.  Gensler, New York, was the project’s executive architect as well as the sustainability consultant, and Reed Hilderbrand, Cambridge, Massachusetts, was the landscape architect.
“The Clark’s commitment to protecting our campus land and to contributing to the preservation of our site in the Berkshires was one of the driving principles in the formulation of this project,” said Anthony G. King, deputy director of the Clark. “We are delighted to receive this recognition of the important environmental measures that were central to these efforts and deeply appreciative of the work of the project team who shared our goals and whose accomplishments are honored through the LEED gold certification.”
LEED is an internationally recognized green building program that provides a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations, and maintenance solutions. LEED certification recognizes commitment to sustainability through the implementation of environmentally sound design elements. A building can earn credits toward LEED certification through performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable sites, water savings, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation and design process. 
“The Clark Art Institute is paving the way as a forward-thinking museum: a steward of both art and the environment,” said Ben Koenig, senior associate at Gensler, who project-managed the sustainability program at the Clark. “We started with a 140-acre campus that is mainly wetlands with expansive meadows, an existing pond, and walking trails, and then planned to add the reflecting pool that was central to Mr. Ando’s concept for the site. We knew that water reduction would be a huge challenge. We turned the challenge inside-out and created a site-wide, sustainable, integrated water system that acts as a renewable resource and were able to save one million gallons of water annually—a twenty-five percent savings from the pre-expansion usage.”
As conceived by Tadao Ando in collaboration with Reed Hilderbrand, the new reflecting pool is a central, unifying element of the campus and is also the centerpiece of the water management system that was a key component in achieving the LEED Gold certification.
“The Clark’s emphasis on finding art in nature never ceased to reverberate with us,” said Beka Sturges, Reed Hilderbrand associate principal. “We asked, ‘How can we transform this place and make it more powerfully recognizable?’ The lily pond that you see through the gallery windows and the wetlands lacing through the woods and meadows are equally as beautiful as the works in the galleries and are also twenty-first-century working landscapes. The new reflecting pool is only the most visible feature of this novel hydrology. By harvesting water on-site and integrating the building and landscape systems, we engineered continuous and recharging systems to reconcile human needs and natural systems. Irrigation, plumbing, heating/cooling, drainage—all are interdependent.”
Gensler, Reed Hilderbrand, and a team of sub-consultants including Altieri Sebor Wieber, BuroHappold, Arup, Guntlow & Associates, Inc., Irrigation Consulting, Inc., and DEW Inc., among others, designed an integrated hydrological system that links all of the campus buildings to the reflecting pool and landscape. The system orchestrates the way that water moves through every portion of the project, from the buildings to the landscape—funneling foundation water and rainwater into the reflecting pool’s reservoir and storage tank. Collected water is primarily used for irrigation, plumbing (gray water for the toilets), and for makeup water for the cooling tower.
The carefully designed system takes the surrounding landscape and necessary stormwater management into consideration, collecting water for reuse during heavier rainstorms, but also recharging the local wetlands for drier periods. The reflecting pond is treated with ozone, which dissipates quickly, keeping the water safe for discharge.
Other notable environmental aspects of the Clark’s LEED Gold certification include savings of close to thirty percent on energy performance and use of more than eighty percent FSC certified wood throughout the project. Turner Construction Company’s Albany, New York office was the project’s general contractor. Arcadis, Chicago and Zubatkin, New York provided owner representation and project management, and commissioning was managed by Aramark.
The Clark Art Institute, located in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, is one of a small number of institutions globally that is both an art museum and a center for research, critical discussion, and higher education in the visual arts. Opened in 1955, the Clark houses exceptional European and American paintings and sculpture, extensive collections of master prints and drawings, English silver, and early photography. Acting as convener through its Research and Academic Program, the Clark gathers an international community of scholars to participate in a lively program of conferences, colloquia, and workshops on topics of vital importance to the visual arts. The Clark library, consisting of more than 240,000 volumes, is one of the nation’s premier art history libraries. The Clark also houses and co-sponsors the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art.
The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm. Admission is $20; free year-round for Clark members, children 18 and younger, and students with valid ID. For more information, visit or call 413 458 2303.
In 1969 Ando established Tadao Ando Architect and Associates in Osaka, Japan. Ando has received numerous architecture awards, including the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1995, the 2002 American Institute of Architects Gold Medal, and the 2002 Kyoto Prize for lifetime achievement in the arts and philosophy. On May 10, 2016, Ando will receive the Isamu Noguchi Award.

Gensler is a global architecture, design, and planning firm with forty-six locations and more than 5,000 professionals networked across Asia, Europe, Australia, the Middle East, and the Americas. Founded in 1965, the firm serves more than 3,500 active clients in virtually every industry. Gensler designers strive to make the places people live, work, and play more inspiring, more resilient, and more impactful.

Reed Hilderbrand is a landscape architecture practice whose works connect daily life to the visible phenomena and the invisible systems of nature. Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts and New Haven, Connecticut, the practice comprises more than fifty landscape architects, designers, and staff engaged on commissions in the Americas and Europe. Among Reed Hilderbrand’s more than seventy design awards are the American Society of Landscape Architects’ 2015 Honor Award for Design and the 2015 Best Landscape Award from The Architect’s Newspaper, both for the Clark Art Institute.
Press contact:
[email protected]