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NEW EDUCATION AND VISITOR CENTER

 

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Map of the new Education and Visitor Center planned to open in early 2015 at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Architectural Resources Group and Office of Cheryl Barton, ©Art Zendarski.

Map of the new Education and Visitor Center planned to open in early 2015 at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Architectural Resources Group and Office of Cheryl Barton, © Art Zendarski.


April 18, 2013


Project: A new entrance complex at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, Calif., consisting of gardens and facilities for lectures, conferences, classes, meetings, and visitor amenities, as well as underground storage space for The Huntington’s collections of rare historical materials.

Location: Replaces the existing 9,000-square-foot entrance area (part of a larger complex designed by Whitney R. Smith in 1980) and extends northward, into space opposite the Munger Research Center.

Projected opening date: Early 2015

Cost: $60 million

Project team

  • Architect: Stephen J. Farneth, FAIA, founding principal; and James McLane, AIA, associate principal, Architectural Resources Group
  • Landscape architect: Cheryl Barton, FASLA, Office of Cheryl Barton
  • Project manager: Laurie Sowd, vice president for operations, The Huntington

Architectural style: The new buildings are designed to be compatible with the formality, scale, and materials of the original 20th-century Beaux-Arts architecture on the property by noted Pasadena architect Myron Hunt. They incorporate stucco, red clay tile roofs, bronze detailing, loggias, and trellises. Highly functional, they are beautifully but simply detailed and serve as an elegant background to landscaped exterior spaces. Integrating the structures completely with the surrounding landscape provides opportunities for incorporating natural light and views both from the inside and outside, and access from all interior spaces into adjoining exterior areas.

Landscape: The 6.5 acres of gardens highlight the natural, agricultural, and cultural landscape origins of the estate in a Mediterranean plant palette. The central garden is formal and axial with hedge rooms and an alee of olive trees; the entry grove offers a tree-canopied area to relax at the beginning or end of a visit; and the south garden’s lush flower beds create a vibrant transition from the formality of the entry gardens to the historic core of the property, just beyond.

Highlights

  • 400-seat lecture hall with raked floor for excellent sight lines and state-of-the-art audio-visual capabilities for The Huntington’s program of lectures, conferences, and small musical performances.
  • Multipurpose room with audio-visual capabilities and flexible lighting to accommodate botanical shows, dinners, and other educational and donor- cultivation events
  • Four classrooms located near the bus drop-off and designed especially to serve school children and their teachers
  • An elegant board room providing meeting space for The Huntington's volunteer leadership and others
  • New retail store offering twice the sales space in a beautifully detailed setting
  • Glass-domed Garden Court serving as a covered outdoor lobby for the lecture hall, multipurpose room, and classrooms
  • Trellises and loggias creating transitional spaces between gardens and buildings
  • New café offering a variety of food stations, indoor seating with views to the gardens, and outdoor seating beneath a lemon arbor and with views of the Desert Garden and the Huntington Art Gallery
  • Coffee shop for quick snacks near the entrance
  • New routing of vehicles leads those entering through the north (Allen Ave.) gate along the historic Palm Drive past the Mausoleum
  • Pedestrian paths from the entrance gates offer safe passage past lush landscapes
  • 43,000 square feet of underground Library collections storage with excellent climate conditions and security

Energy usage and sustainability

  • Overall design, including the building envelope, lighting, and HVAC systems, exceeds California’s Title 24 minimum requirements by more than 17 percent
  • Plumbing system and fixtures exceed California’s CAL Green requirements by more than 30 percent
  • 75 percent of construction debris will be recycled
  • All excavated soil will be reused on site

Architectural history of site
The property that is now The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens was purchased in 1903 by Henry E. Huntington (1850–1927). Huntington commissioned architect Myron Hunt (1868–1952) to design a 55,000-square-foot Beaux-Arts residence (now the Huntington Art Gallery, completed in 1911 and restored by Earl Corp. and Architectural Resources Group in 2008), an 8,000-foot garage (now the MaryLou and George Boone Gallery, completed in 1911, and restored by Brenda Levin in 2000), and a 96,000-square-foot Library (built in 1919) on the property. John Russell Pope (1874–1937) designed the Mausoleum (completed in 1929), which includes sculpture by John Gregory (1879-1958).

Since Henry Huntington’s death, the institution has added the existing entrance pavilion and the Library building to the west of it, designed by Whitney R. Smith (1980); the Virginia Steele Scott Galleries of American Art (Paul Gray, 1984), and its additional wing, the Lois and Robert F. Erburu Gallery (Frederick Fisher, 2005); as well a Botanical Center (Offenhauser and Associates, 2000–2004). There have been five additions to the Library building, including most recently the 90,000-square-foot Munger Research Center (Earl Corp, 2004). 

 

CONTACTS:  Thea M. Page, 626-405-2260, tpage@huntington.org
                        Susan Turner-Lowe, 626-405-2147, sturner@huntington.org

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[EDITOR’S NOTE: High-resolution artist’s renderings available on request for publicity use.]

About The Huntington
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is a collections-based research and educational institution serving scholars and the general public. More information about The Huntington can be found online at huntington.org.

Visitor information
The Huntington is located at 1151 Oxford Rd., San Marino, Calif., 12 miles from downtown Los Angeles. It is open to the public Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from noon to 4:30 p.m.; and Saturday, Sunday, and Monday holidays from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Summer hours (Memorial Day through Labor Day) are 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Closed Tuesdays and major holidays. Admission on weekdays: $20 adults, $15 seniors (65+), $12 students (ages 12–18 or with full-time student I.D.), $8 youth (ages 5–11), free for children under 5. Group rate, $11 per person for groups of 15 or more. Members are admitted free. Admission on weekends: $23 adults, $18 seniors, $13 students, $8 youth, free for children under 5. Group rate, $14 per person for groups of 15 or more. Members are admitted free. Admission is free to all visitors on the first Thursday of each month with advance tickets. Information: 626-405-2100 or huntington.org.

About The Huntington

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is a collections-based research and educational institution established in 1919 by Henry E. and Arabella Huntington. Henry Huntington, a key figure in the...

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