North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, NC, Named One of Top 125 Buildings Since 1891 by “Architectural Record”


The North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA), in Raleigh, NC, has been selected by “Architectural Record” as one of the top 125 most important works of architecture built since the magazine’s founding in 1891. The publication recognized the Museum’s West Building, which was designed by New York–based architects Thomas Phifer and Partners and North Carolina–based landscape architects Surface 678 (then Lappas + Havener), and which opened in 2010. The list of 125 buildings was created by “Architectural Record” editors to commemorate the magazine’s 125th anniversary.


“The Museum is honored to be recognized by ‘Architectural Record’, one of the most distinguished and world-renowned architectural publications,” says director Lawrence J. Wheeler. “We’re incredibly proud to be ranked among such significant and innovative buildings from around the globe.”

Glass and aluminum-clad with striking simplicity and state-of-the-art environmental features, the Museum’s West Building has an open floor plan reinforcing connections to art across time and culture. Adjacent to the 1983 building designed by Edward Durrell Stone, the single-story building was created specifically to showcase the Museum’s wide-ranging permanent collection and features a central sculpture hall and 40 galleries. With the exterior 50 percent glass, the 127,000-square-foot space has an innovative day lighting system to bathe the collection in an even glow of natural light, illuminating colors in Old Master paintings as originally intended. Landscaped sculpture gardens, courtyards, and reflecting pools surround the building and connect seamlessly to the Museum’s 164-acre Park.


“It was a privilege to work with the architectural firm Thomas Phifer and Partners on the planning and creation of our West Building,” says the NCMA’s director of planning and design Dan Gottlieb. “It showcases our collection in a setting equal to the quality of the artwork it contains. The elegance of its day-lit galleries and garden courtyards perfectly embodies our philosophy of connecting art, nature, and people.”

The West Building opened in April 2010. This fall the NCMA will complete a yearlong redesign and transformation of the Museum campus by expanding the NCMA Park. The project—which will introduce a new elliptical lawn, tree-lined parking, contemporary gardens, a promenade connecting Park and galleries, and significant public art installations by international artists—continues the Museum’s mission of providing memorable and creative experiences with both art and nature.

The North Carolina Museum of Art’s permanent collection spans more than 5,000 years, from ancient Egypt to the present, making the institution one of the premier art museums in the South. The Museum’s collection provides educational, aesthetic, intellectual, and cultural experiences for the citizens of North Carolina and beyond. The 164-acre Museum Park showcases the connection between art and nature through site-specific works of environmental art. The Museum offers changing national touring exhibitions, classes, lectures, family activities, films, and concerts.

The Museum opened West Building, home to the permanent collection, in 2010. The North Carolina Museum of Art, Lawrence J. Wheeler, director, is located at 2110 Blue Ridge Road in Raleigh. It is the art museum of the State of North Carolina, Pat McCrory, governor, and an agency of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, Susan Kluttz, secretary.

For further information call the Museum at 919/839-6262 or visit (


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