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May 15, 2016

Connecticut’s Yale Center for British Art reopens after 16-month renovation

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By Umesh Ellichipuram

After being closed for 16 months, New Haven’s Yale Center for British Art was reopened to the public last week.

The renovation project was led by Knight Architecture principal George Knight in collaboration with the centre’s deputy director Constance Clement, Conservation Architects’ Peter Inskip, and Peter Jenkins Architects.

Work was completed in three phases spanning eight years. The first phase took place from 2008-11, when the exterior lobby court was restored. From 2011-13, second phase repairs were carried out at the lecture hall lobby.

In 2015 and 2016, the third phase began at a cost of $33m.

"The space and architecture of the building is too important to have compromised with simple upgrades."

As part of the project, its white oak wood panels were restored to a golden hue, gallery walls were covered with Belgian Linen, and undyed wool carpeting has been laid.

The Long Gallery on the fourth floor has been restored to a salon-style space and system upgrades such as temperature control, lighting, and security were also undertaken.

Knight was quoted by as saying: "We were glad to be able to do this in a way that didn’t degrade or damage the architecture of the building, which would have been far more expedient.

"The space and architecture of the building is too important to have compromised with simple upgrades of these systems."

Yale Center is home to the largest collection of British art outside of the UK and it was built in 1977, designed by well-known architect Louis Kahn.

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