MASS MoCA Becomes the Country’s Largest Contemporary Art Museum with 2017 Expansion Led by Gilbane Building Company

Gilbane Completes MASS MoCA (Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art) Expansion

Boston, MA – October 10, 2017 – Gilbane Building Company, a global leader in construction and facilities-related services, joined museum leadership, artists and patrons recently to celebrate the opening of the newly renovated B6: The Robert W. Wilson Building. Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art’s (MASS MoCA) 2017 expansion adds 120,000 square feet of new gallery space, bringing the museum’s total exhibition area to 250,000 square feet across its 16-acre campus.

The 100 three-story post-and-beam structure features ample natural light from the hundreds of windows lining the perimeter of the building.   As part of the renovation, more than 350 tons of structural steel was incorporated into the 100 year old building.  Additionally, nearly 5,000 original bricks were removed, cleaned, and re-used, as was over 60,000 square feet of maple flooring. A new dramatic two-story mullioned window at the western prow of the building, facing west to the Berkshire and Taconic Mountains, showcases the dramatic confluence of the north and south branches of The Hoosic River.  An historic window well (that was in-filled by former tenants) was restored during this renovation, its roof replaced with a skylight measuring 20-feet wide by 140-feet long.

Cambridge, Massachusetts based Bruner/Cott Architects designed new, multi-level gallery spaces that allow for long cross-gallery views while balancing the industrial beauty of the Robert W. Wilson Building’s original interior including its many steel pillars, acres of wood flooring, and exposed brick walls with 21st-century structural requirements.

“The local knowledge of the Gilbane team, their in-depth museum experience, and excellent collaboration with Bruner/Cott Architects resulted in a beautiful revitalization of the building – they really brought our vision to life,” said Larry Smallwood, MASS MoCA Deputy Director and COO.

The expansion doubles the current gallery footprint and adding new art fabrication workshops, performing artists’ support facilities, and music festival amenities.  The centerpiece of the building is a series of changing exhibitions and long-term installations and collaborations with artists Laurie Anderson, Jenny Holzer, and James Turrell, the Louise Bourgeois Trust, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, and the estate of Gunnar Schonbeck.

Gilbane Building Company has a long history of building some of the Nation’s most prestigious cultural and public spaces including National Air and Space Museum, Vietnam World War II Memorial, and Corning Museum of Glass. In the last 10 years, Gilbane has completed nearly 30 museum projects totaling more than $1 billion and over 4 million square feet.  Learn more about the MASS MoCA project

About MASS MoCA 

MASS MoCA is one of the world’s liveliest (and largest) centers for making and enjoying today’s most important art, music, dance, theater, film, and video. Hundreds of works of visual and performing art have been created on its 19th-century factory campus during fabrication and rehearsal residencies, making MASS MoCA among the most productive sites in the country for the creation and presentation of new art. More platform than box, MASS MoCA strives to bring to its audiences art experiences that are fresh, engaging, and transformative.

About Gilbane Building Company

Gilbane provides a full slate of construction and facilities-related services – from pre-construction planning and integrated consulting capabilities to comprehensive construction management, close-out and facility management services – for clients across various markets. Founded in 1873 and still a privately held, family-owned company, Gilbane has 48 office locations around the world.

Gilbane has been a leading Boston construction firm since 1946, serving commercial, institutional, and public clients in the Commonwealth including Wentworth Institute of Technology, Genzyme, Fidelity Investments, City of Boston-Boston Public Schools and Bank of America. For more information, visit

10 Minutes with … Gilbane CEO Mike McKelvy

Leading the Way with Lean

Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) Building 6, Robert W. Wilson Building

The latest expansion results in MASS MoCA being the largest contemporary art museum in the United States.

Restoring an occupied Historic cultural facility

Gilbane provided construction management at-risk services for the third phase of a comprehensive master plan for the mixed use redevelopment of a National List of Historic Places factory mill complex. The 13 acres of grounds in North Adams, Massachusetts, encompasses a vast complex of 19th century factory buildings and occupy nearly one-third of the city’s downtown business district.  MASS MoCA is ranked among the most visited institutions in the U.S. dedicated to new art and with the latest expansion it is the largest contemporary art museum in the U.S.

The scope of Phase III included the build out of 135,000 SF of interior space, ultimately doubling the space currently available, for museum galleries, performing arts facilities, public circulation and workshop and meeting facilities. Working adjacent to occupied galleries and collection storage areas, noise and dust control were of the utmost importance throughout the project. The team successfully avoided potential impacts to the operational facility through the isolation of construction areas and use of ample ventilation.

The project scope also required lighting and climate control flexibility and coverage throughout the space. New HVAC and lighting systems were specially designed for the exhibit spaces allowing for individual area controls and ability to increase or decrease lighting and temperatures, as needed for current and future exhibits.

Gilbane developed an on-site plan to ensure the safety of all museum visitors, staff, and the facility’s collections throughout construction. Work areas were isolated from the operational areas of the building and shutdowns were carefully coordinated with the owner. As available space for on-site deliveries was limited to a shared courtyard, the team communicated regularly with the owner through weekly meetings to coordinate and update team members on daily delivery schedules. Through the team’s collaborative efforts, the project remained on track without impacting daily operational activities.

Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art Cultural Phase III, Building 6 was nominated for Gilbane’s 2016 Iver Johnson Builder of the Year award. The Iver Johnson Builders of the Year award is Gilbane’s highest honor for excellence in project management and is awarded annually to a team with on-site responsibility for a Gilbane project completed during the previous calendar year.

For more on Building 6’s architecture see the MASS MoCA link,

Fire Station No. 1, Fort Myers

In order to maintain the most efficiency and maximize roles, the team worked together from day one and through the GMP, working through the value analysis and allowances.

New state of the art Fire station targets LEED silver certification

Gilbane provided construction management services for the new Fire Station, Administration, and Headquarters facility for the City of Fort Myers Fire Department which includes Fire Station No. 1, Operations Area, Crew Quarters, Fleet Fueling, Meeting, Training, Fire Administration, and Fire Prevention spaces. The new fire station will contain five apparatus bays for equipment.

The new 4-story, state-of-the-art station offers a variety of new features including, wireless access on every floor, a library for the firefighters and emergency personnel that allows for quiet space and an area to study. There is a weight room and a ‘Day Room’ that offers 10 leather recliners and large flat-screen tv for the firefighters to use on down time. The station is now outfitted with two poles for the firefighters to use when responding to an emergency and is equipped with enhanced padding to protect from injuries. Additional features include fire hose and equipment storage, high volume water plumbing, living quarters, kitchen and dining area, laundry room with heavy duty laundry equipment for washing gear, station offices, weight room and training spaces.

Gilbane was very involved in the preconstruction process examining structural systems, high performance building objectives, cost, scheduling options and possible site construction alternatives which helped to accelerate the construction start date. The project’s fast-track construction schedule enabled the project to be completed in 15 months. The new facility is targeting LEED Silver certification.

The Mayor of Fort Myers and other dignitaries of the City of Fort Myers celebrated the grand opening of their new Fire Station One with the uncoupling of a ceremonial fire hose instead of the traditional ribbon cutting ceremony.

Dodge Data and Analytics Showcase the impact of collaboration on minimizing construction risk

A recent report by Dodge Data and Analytics researches how a collaborative approach can successfully mitigate risk, construction overspending, project schedule overruns and underperformance. The study shows the prevalence of risk in the construction industry and highlights important collaborative tools that can assist project stakeholders in addressing these risk factors. Gilbane’s Kings Theater project is featured on pages 30-31 of the report. The case study details the techniques and processes that Gilbane implemented to mitigate the many risks associated with the iconic heritage project. Gilbane was able to envisage success through Lean practices and risk management to ensure that the Kings Theatre restoration met all its funding deadlines, was completed on time for their first scheduled event, within budget, and without a single contractor-initiated change order. Click here to read the Dodge Data and Analytics report.

Gordon Glover to Lead Regional Business Development Center of Excellence for Cultural and Performing Arts

Gilbane Building Company continues to expand with signature construction projects in the cultural marketplace.

gordon-gloverFort Myers, Florida – December 2016 – Gilbane Building Company, a national leader in the construction of cultural arts projects, has appointed Gordon Glover to head the Business Development Leadership team for the Cultural and Performing Arts Center of Excellence (COE). The COE is made up of seasoned professionals from across the country that provide the highest level institutional knowledge, cutting edge thinking within the market sector, and lessons learned from an array of transformational projects.

Glover, who recently was named as senior business manager to lead the development of client relations throughout South Florida, has more than 14 years of construction industry experience. He originally joined Gilbane in 2006 in a project management capacity. During his tenure he has been responsible for both execution of projects and overseeing client relationships. Some of the notable cultural and performing arts projects include the expansion of the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, the Museum of Arts and Crafts Modern Movement in Tampa and the new convention space and room tower addition for the Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort.

“Gordon’s proven leadership with top clients, comprehensive market knowledge and contributions within the marketplace make him the ideal leader for this market,” said Robert Hayes, senior vice president for the Florida division. “He will be instrumental in leading the company’s growth as we continue to serve our clients.”

Glover holds a BS in Management from Boston College and is a LEED AP®.

About Gilbane Building Company

Gilbane Building Company provides a full slate of construction and facilities-related services—from preconstruction planning and integrated consulting capabilities, to comprehensive construction management, close-out and facility management services—for clients across various markets. Founded in 1873 and still a privately held, family-owned company, Gilbane has more than 50 office locations around the world.

For more information, visit

City of Houston, Young Neighborhood Library

The building’s unique shape is a reflection of the corresponding curving Metro Rail that passes close by.

Community will have a spacious, modern library

Gilbane recently provided construction services for the new Young Neighborhood Library located in Houston, Texas. The Young Neighborhood library originally opened in 1957 and for quite some time resided in a strip mall about two blocks from the new site. The new facility increases the size of the library, offering more resources as well as more space for the community.

This new 16,000 SF library is a single story building with a steel frame on concrete slab on grade. The interior of the structure features raised flooring, metal panel ceilings and an open concept, with a strong focus on clear site lines for public safety. The site consists of a concrete parking lot with easy access on two sides.

The building’s unique curvilinear shape in two dimensions is a reflection of the corresponding curving Metro Rail line that passes in close proximity to the site, in an architectural attempt to obtain symmetry with the surrounding neighborhood. The design was developed based on a unique series of public dialogues and workshops between the City, the local community, and the Design Team. The project is seeking to obtain LEED Silver.

Nevada Air National Guard Fire Station Replacement

State of the art two-story building included many specialized systems

Award winning project with many sustainable features

Gilbane provided general contractor services for the Nevada Air National Guard (NANG) in Reno, NV.    The new fire station replaced the existing inadequate station and consisted of a two story building with administrative offices, training and conference rooms, sleeping quarters, individual bedrooms, laundry, living room, and a kitchen for fire department personnel.  The main focus of the facility was the seven apparatus bays for fire trucks and other dispatch vehicles which were unique in that each bay was serviceable from each side of the building via Large Automatic Four-Fold Glass Doors.

This facility was state of the art and included N+2 redundancy as well as a number of specialized systems including but not limited to: Compressed Air package system, SCBA Breathing Air Compressor System, Solar Water Collector System with 19 roof mounted Panels, Wash Bay Equipment for Truck/Car Wash, Vehicle Exhaust Removal System, Blast Resistant Glazing, Air-to-Air Energy Recovery System, Radiant Heating Flooring System, Fire Station Alert System, Mass Notification System & Public Address.

 “Gilbane brought in an experienced team.  Fairness sticks out in my mind when it comes to change orders.  It was a challenging and complicated project and Gilbane’s technical expertise and high quality of service was great.  Also, the follow up after the project ended was remarkable and Gilbane has stayed involved.”
-Lt Col Robert Nicholas, BCE – Nevada Air National Guard – 152nd Airlift Wing.

Architects are Burns & McDonnell and H&K Architects

Rhode Island Veterans Administration, Veterans Home Additions and Renovations

$94 million, state-of-the-art 208 bed facility providing skilled nursing and residential care on 49 acres supporting our veterans and their families.

Gilbane is providing construction management at-risk services for a replacement residential facility to house Rhode Island veterans. Some of the services that the facility will provide include social, medical, nursing, and rehabilitative services. The project includes construction of six new single-story “neighborhood buildings” built around a two-story commons building with amenity space for residents, as well as administrative offices.  Demolition of approximately 180,000 square feet of the existing 200,000 square foot facility and renovation of the remaining 20,000 square feet will take place prior to new construction.

To make room for the new construction, the existing 60-foot tall 1890’s Water Tower needed to be relocated.  The structure was moved at a speed of one mile per hour, taking nearly three hours via the use of “tire dollies.”    Click here to watch the Tower Move, courtesy of RKNR Media. 

A video of a flyover the site in June 2016 is shown below (courtesy of JP Cloutier):

Construction activities currently underway include:

    • Site improvements to include excavation, grading, paving, landscaping, and amenities
    • Extensive utility systems upgrades including removal, abatement, and upgrades of all major utility systems
    • Parking and pedestrian circulation
    • Environmental abatement and demolition activities in the existing facility
    • Preservation and relocation of historic structures, including the historic water tower and garage buildings

Read news coverage on this project from Providence Journal and Channel 10.