Princeton University’s art collection contained more than 68,000 objects and its growth necessitated an offsite storage facility. HMFH worked in association with Solomon + Bauer Architects on a study to design a 27,900 sf new facility, located at the university’s Forrestal campus, that provides climate-controlled collection storage areas with high-density storage systems, workrooms, study rooms for scholarly research, and a small number of offices.
Much of the interior is organized around the progression of artwork through the building, from loading bay through documentation and photography to storage in a custom-designed system of sliding screens for hanging art and rolling drawers for smaller pieces. Smaller areas include museum support, such as exhibit-related carpentry and publication storage, and a suite of offices and study space. The collection storage areas are protected by a clean-agent fire suppression system and all window glass and light fixtures are designed with UV filters to further protect artwork. A geothermal heat pump system and a porous parking area contribute to the building’s sustainability.