Winterthur Museum

Winterthur, Delaware

Multi-Phase Improvements to a Historic Museum Property

Mueller Associates has performed several renovation and new construction projects for the Winterthur Museum, set on the grounds of the historic Winterthur estate. Our first project involved a survey and report regarding HVAC deficiencies in the Research Building. Next, a study and report addressed environmental control concerns and electrical service and distribution systems upgrades in the circa-1830s museum house, the childhood home of collector and horticulturist Henry Francis du Pont. This unique museum includes 175 period rooms furnished with Early American decorative arts, including antique furniture, silver, needlework, textiles, paintings, prints, ceramics, and glass.

Housing these collections within a residential structure and building envelope, located in the mid-Atlantic climate zone with an existing two-pipe Carrier induction HVAC system, posed considerable challenges for controlling the indoor environments to protect this diverse collection. Recommendations, including comprehensive upgrade and replacement of the museum’s HVAC and electrical systems, were implemented under a multi-year renovation project. The project included expansion of the existing 400-ton chiller plant serving the museum to add capacity, increase operational reliability, and improve energy efficiency.

Mueller also provided complete MEP engineering for the museum’s 47,000-square-foot art exhibition building. The building created a new entrance with a two-story foyer that connects to the historic residence museum. The building features three galleries, that serve as an introduction to the museum, showcase historic furnishings, and accommodate changing exhibition space. Several other infrastructure projects followed the successes of the previous projects at Winterthur, including replacement of equipment within the central boiler plant, fire protection system upgrades, and HVAC system test and balance work.

Client History

2001: South Wing Rotunda Renovations
1995: Boiler Plant Upgrades
1994: Survey, Report, and Concept Design, Boiler Plant Upgrades
1993: Fire Protection Infrastructure
1993: New Exhibition Building; Hartman-Cox Architects
1992: Museum & Wing, HVAC Upgrades
1989: Research Building Upgrades
1987: Survey and Report – Museum and Wing, HVAC and Electrical Systems
1987: Survey and Report – Research Building

View additional Cultural, Museum, and Preservation projects

  • The renovation of this magnificent estate really put our team to the test. We were challenged to upgrade the temperature and humidity control systems to protect the mansion as well as thousands of artifacts within this tremendous collection. In many ways, the building itself—its walls, finishes, millwork, fixtures, and lighting—is the essence of this museum, so we needed to maintain the original condition of all the rooms. The exhibition wing, which created a new entrance for the museum and the addition of three galleries, fits well into this beautiful setting.

    Bob Marino
    President, Mueller Associates
  • The renovation of this magnificent estate really put our team to the test. We were challenged to upgrade the temperature and humidity control systems to protect the mansion as well as thousands of artifacts within this tremendous collection. In many ways, the building itself—its walls, finishes, millwork, fixtures, and lighting—is the essence of this museum, so we needed to maintain the original condition of all the rooms. The exhibition wing, which created a new entrance for the museum and the addition of three galleries, fits well into this beautiful setting.

    Bob Marino
    President, Mueller Associates