Columbia, South Carolina
Role: Museum Planner and Conceptual Designer for Museum Renovations; Led team of specialist museum consultants
Program: Art galleries, collection storage, auditorium, library, lobby, cafe, gift shop, function spaces, classrooms, exhibit support, and offices
Building Area: 130,000 sf
Status: In fundraising stage, scheduled to begin construction in 2016
Description: Verner Johnson, along with museum gallery and lighting designers George Sexton Associates, audience evaluator Kathleen Tinworth, and economic sustainability analyst Elaine Carmichael, worked with the Columbia Museum of Art to develop a Comprehensive Master Plan that addresses issues of financial sustainability and facility functionality. The Plan, which was driven by institutional needs and goals, visitor surveys and stakeholder interviews, presents strategies to attract visitors and improve their experience, highlight and engage the collection, expand the successful educational program, enhance event/rental opportunities, and increase revenue streams to improve overall financial health.
The phased Plan seeks to engage Main Street with a new entrance, banners, clear glass, the expansion of the Museum shop and the addition of a cafe, which extends to the sidewalk and terrace with exterior seating. The visitor experience will be improved with better wayfinding, including a new open stair that places visitors at the entrance to the second floor permanent galleries. Gallery space will be expanded, allowing for flexibility and multiple shows in the temporary galleries and display of more of the collection in the permanent galleries. The library, auditorium and educational programming will be expanded and relocated to the lower level opening the first floor for gallery, retail and event functions. Dedicated event space will be added on the first and second floors providing the opportunity for simultaneous events and increased revenue. By completing the Plan in phases rather than all at once, the Museum will be able to fulfill its goals and manage its capital resources while minimizing operational disruption.
Art Museums | Recent | Revitalizations