Back to all projects

The Norton Museum of Art

The expansion, spurred by a growing population, connects the museum with the community with more than double the educational space and transforms the exterior with a sleek, modern façade.

Museum within a garden

Gilbane provided construction management at-risk services for the design and construction of a comprehensive museum renovation and expansion at the Norton Museum of Art. The museum houses a portion of the nation’s premier collections of American, Chinese, Contemporary, European and Photographic art and has served as a cultural centerpiece for art in South Florida since its founding in 1941. The new museum accommodates increased gallery and exhibitions space and provides additional educational and program space. The project scope included dramatically re-orienting the museum entrance from the south side of the facility to the west side along the main thoroughfare of S. Dixie Highway.

The New Norton’s design added approximately 50,000 SF of program space with a new 200-seat, state-of-the-art auditorium, meeting rooms, new entrance space with 44-foot high ceilings in the great hall, arrival forecourt, restaurant, 15,000 SF of new gallery space and support spaces. The project included the upgrade and re-use of approximately 60,000 SF of existing space and demolition of approximately 35,000 SF. The incorporation of a glass-walled sculpture colonnade, under a monumental canopy, opens onto a 9,000 SF sculpture garden. Additional unique features include a reflective pool, a 40-foot cantilevered roof canopy, precast panels and extensive exterior glass system.

Within the new entry footprint, there is an existing 80-year-old banyan tree that is critical to the overall design and aesthetic of the new museum. To develop a plan to preserve the integrity of the Banyan Tree, Gilbane worked directly with the design team, the museum staff and an arborist – who conducted an initial evaluation of the juxtaposition of the tree around the proposed design. Additionally, a complete analysis of the healthiness of the tree was conducted including an examination of the canopy and root system to preserve the health of the tree before, during and after completion.

Client Value

With all project activities completed while the museum remained open to the public, safety of museum staff, patrons and artwork were of the utmost importance. Gilbane worked closely with the owner to develop a collaborative communication plan that outlined all current and upcoming project activities to avoid disrupting daily museum operations.

In order to ensure the safety of the museum’s collections, large-scale security walls with reinforced steel mesh were installed to isolate gallery and storage spaces from construction activities, prevent dust from escaping construction areas, and prevent on-site staff from accessing unauthorized areas within the facility. Gilbane worked with the museum to schedule escorts to monitor on-site work. Additionally, all personnel were required to wear badging and pass a rigorous background check, completed through a third-party agency in order to work on-site.