Connected \\ November 6, 2017
Building for the ages, blending past and present
When Ennead Architects was tasked with designing PEM’s new wing — set to open in 2019 — they knew they’d have to create something very special indeed. As Richard Olcott, Ennead’s design partner leading this project, noted, “what we encountered at PEM was a uniquely engaging creative challenge.” As it turns out, that is just the kind of project that Olcott and his team like best.
Situated in the dense urban fabric of downtown Salem’s pedestrian mall, PEM’s new wing needed to harmonize the rich architectural legacy of the museum — which includes the 2003 Moshe Safdie addition, the 1974 Dodge wing and East India Marine Hall, PEM’s founding structure and National Historic Landmark — while providing a space that’s entirely fresh and highly functional.
We hope the new building will create a harmonious link with the past while providing inviting nods to the future
— Richard Olcott
“The opportunity to extend PEM’s architectural legacy and to create a material through-line has been incredibly gratifying,” said Olcott. “We hope the new building will create a harmonious link with the past while providing inviting nods to the future. Working on this project makes us feel that we are not just building for our time but also for the ages.”
The new wing will feature a Chelmsford Grey granite facade. Rendering courtesy of Ennead Architects. Photo by Kathy Tarantola/PEM.