Museum Atrium

Moshe Safdie: World-renowned architect, urban planner

Moshe Safdie designed the imaginative glass and brick building expansion for PEM in 2003 to reflect Salem's architectural history with contemporary flair. The result weaves together a building of many parts into a seamless, inspired structure for viewing art and culture from around the world.

The dramatic Atrium with a soaring glass roof is the central gathering place, akin to the traditional village green. The curved glass of the roof allows natural light into the Atrium, creating an airy space and walkways that lead visitors into galleries, the Art Studios and the performance center in Morse Auditorium. Five diverse roof silhouettes or "buildings" that comprise the outer brick wall echo the shapes and forms of local architecture.

Safdie’s expansive portfolio includes the ArtScience Museum in Singapore, the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, the Children's Memorial at the Yad Vashem Holocaust History Museum in Jerusalem, Habitat ‘67 experimental housing in Montreal, and the United States Courthouse in Springfield, Mass.

For a closer look at Safdie and his projects, visit