The Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA) in Williamstown, Massachusetts, aims to celebrate its upcoming centennial with the unveiling of the first standalone building for the museum. The prestigious art university's art collection has been exhibited in pre-existing buildings on its Berkshires campus since 1851.
The Brooklyn-based architecture firm SO-IL, made up of the principals Florian Idenburg and Jing Liu, has been selected to design the facility. The conceptual design is expected to be completed in 2023, with construction expected to wrap in 2026 or 2027.
SO-IL was selected from a pool of 40 architecture firms, through a process informed by a two-year study conducted in consultation with the New York-based firm Deborah Berke Partners. SO-IL has previously spearheaded art-centric projects including the Amant Foundation in Brooklyn and the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art at the University of California, Davis.
The museum holds a collection spanning more than 15,000 works, with particular strengths in American contemporary art and photography and ancient Egyptian, Assyrian and Greco-Roman artefacts. The new museum will be located on the former site of the original Williams Inn, a building demolished in 2020.