The Huntington Lois and Robert F. Erburu Gallery Expansion

Collaborating closely with John Murdock, Director of Art Collections, we began working with the Huntington on new galleries in 2004, anticipating significant growth to the institution’s collection of 20th century American Art. In 2005, we expanded the Scott Galleries of American Art, designed by Paul Gray in 1984 and characterized by picturesque columns and vine-covered walls.

Our contributions to the Huntington Library, Art Collection and Botanical Gardens celebrate the synergy between gardens and art. They add a significant inventory of new galleries and improve campus circulation, while striking a subtle balance between Neoclassicism and contemporary architecture.
Faced with the need to close the Huntington Mansion for a multi-year renovation, the leadership saw the opportunity to create new gallery space that would function as a swing space for the great English art collection and, in the process, minimize substantial moving and storage costs.
History inspired us. We studied the elegant glass loggia of Jørgen Bo and Vilhelm Wohlert’s 1958 Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark and looked at the iconic 1811 Dulwich Picture Gallery by Sir John Soane’s in London established a canon of enfilade galleries.
Our deceptively simple design for the Lois & Robert F. Erburu Gallery, an extension of the Scott Galleries, combines a single-story box with a glass-walled loggia. Located on the south side of the Brown Garden, the gallery defines a major new campus lawn, completing a natural quadrangle with the Scott Galleries, the nearby Boone Galleries and the Botanical Center. The gallery’s glass walls erase the boundaries between outside and in, especially at dusk when the loggia’s glow spreads across the grounds. Though the Erburu Gallery adds 9,500 square feet of exhibition space, its quiet limestone façade and classical proportions so fluently complement the surrounding buildings that it looks as though it always belonged.