The Phillips Collection

Washington, DC

Improving controls and minimizing maintenance

The modernization of the Phillips Collection included extensive upgrades to improve thermal performance in the museum’s original 1897 building. Today, the house gallery spaces feature a fully digitized temperature and humidity control system, designed to protect collections while ensuring visitor comfort.

Known as “America’s First Museum of Modern Art,” the Phillips Collection features paintings by many important impressionists and contemporary artists, including Renoir, Bonnard, Cezanne, Monet, Degas, Rothko, O’Keeffe, and Klee. The renovation primarily focused on the historic, four-story Georgian Revival home, one of three connected buildings in which galleries are housed. The renovation replaced dated building systems with energy-efficient new systems that improve temperature and humidity control, create zone-based flexibility, and minimize long-term maintenance.

Highlights include a 100-percent outside air handling system with an exhaust air energy recovery wheel serving multiple variable-volume air handling units that provide conditioned air to new direct digital-controlled, zone-level, air terminal units. A new, architecturally screened, high-efficiency chiller fitted with sound-attenuating components was also added, as well as a pair of high-efficiency condensing hot water boilers with heating water pumps. A new building automation system was provided, as well as upgrades to the existing fire suppression, fire alarm, electrical power, lighting, and plumbing systems.

Architect

Bowie Gridley Architects

“Protecting the Phillips Collection”

Papyrus magazine

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  • These upgrades to the essential control systems governing the temperature and humidity within the museum will ensure the protection of our collection and the enjoyment of our visitors for years to come.

    Dorothy Kosinski
    Director, The Phillips Collection
  • These upgrades to the essential control systems governing the temperature and humidity within the museum will ensure the protection of our collection and the enjoyment of our visitors for years to come.

    Dorothy Kosinski
    Director, The Phillips Collection