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Construction & Design

MBB completes historic preservation of Princeton art gallery

MBB Architects announced the completion of the renovation and conversion of a historic property into art galleries and a community
center at Princeton University.

The new venue, Art@Bainbridge, which dates to 1766, opened recently and now serves to showcase work by contemporary artists. The venue also provides space for the community and museum to facilitate meetings, programs and events.

MBB’s architects repurposed the three-story, Georgian-style farm home to offer flexible public gathering and event areas, exhibition rooms, a gift shop and an information area.

The second and third floors hold private offices for the museum’s education department.


“A main goal for the MBB team — besides maintaining the historic architectural integrity of one of the area’s best-preserved examples of Georgian architecture — was to sensitively make the building more welcoming to the community and fully accessible using minimalist modern interventions that defer to the historic fabric,” says MBB partner Jeffrey Murphy, FAIA, LEED AP.

The scope of work included restoring the building’s exterior by cleaning, repairing, and replacing in-kind the brickwork, windows, shutters, and roofing.

Another major objective of the adaptive reuse for Art@Bainbridge has been to create a more sustainable building that incorporates a tighter, high-performance building envelope.

Outmoded infrastructure in the building were replaced and integrated into the building’s historic fabric. Almost the entire original 18th-century
structure remains intact, including historic wall paneling, fireplace mantles, doors, and a three-story staircase that MBB and the construction team carefully restored and preserved.

Bainbridge House, located on the northern border of Princeton University’s
campus, is one of the oldest surviving structures in the municipality of Princeton, N.J.

Today, as a contemporary art center and satellite of the Princeton University Art Museum, the structure has been reimagined as “a gateway to the arts” for Princeton’s ever-evolving campus.

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