Penn State Palmer Museum of Art

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The Palmer Museum of Art and its collection find a new 70,000 sf home sited between historic campus fabric and the H.O. Smith Botanic Garden and Penn State arboretum beyond. Around the architecture of Allied Works, whose cubical forms and rough materiality evoke the Nittany Valley’s geology, the landscape weaves a network of curvilinear paths and terraces that direct movement and views.

How the form of the building meets the landscape yields a series of generous garden rooms around the Palmer. Organized as interlocking pavilions set within the flows of the greater landscape where plantings are drawn from the botanic gardens’ collections as well as from the native plant communities found across the Nittany Valley. It thus supports a seamlessness between what lies within and what’s without, as advance by Allied Work’s uses of “lenses” that filter light and views from the galleries. No less a work of campus-making, however, the design facilitates movement across the University and welcomes spillover tailgating during the fall for major football games.


University Park, PA




4.35 acres