Brooks Museum Welcome Desk and Renovation

The Museum's existing rotunda space was dark, disorienting and not effective at welcoming visitors. A few impactful design moves generated a significant transformation. The primary design driver was to relocate a new reception desk—integrating it more proudly into rotunda space while deferring to its geometry. The white solid surface material helped to ensure the desk felt cohesive and a part of the entry.  Conversely, the fan texture enhances the desk’s prominence. The fan slips help reconcile the two opposing geometries in the rotunda space (the circular rotunda itself and the rectilinear atrium within it). The fanning texture attracts visitors who enjoy the tactile experience of running their fingers along the rib edges. The new, durable desk also doubles as a bar/buffet during catered events.

Additionally, a new donor wall was integrated into the space of the reception desk, so as to consolidate two functions into one visual and activity hub. From a distance, the desk and donor wall are not hugely visually impactful—in consideration of a space with many competing art pieces—however, the donor wall becomes a dominant element within visitor’s view when they approach the desk.

The rotunda was perforated to provide access and views into adjacent galleries, stairs, and the café. The relationship of the renovated second-floor galleries to the rotunda was re-defined by relocating a large sculpture previously sited in the center. Finally, new white paint enhanced natural light and modernized the entry space.