Hancock Shaker Village announces architect selection for Visitor Center Project
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Hancock Shaker Village announces architect selection for Visitor Center Project
New facility for open collection storage, changing exhibitions, and learning spaces will recast the Village’s entrance and engagement with visitors, fulfilling a decades-old dream.

HANCOCK, MASS.- Hancock Shaker Village Chair Diane Eshleman announced today that TSKP x IKD architects have been selected to reimagine the current Visitor Center, for the first time providing climate-controlled collection storage, for the 62-year old museum, as well as year-round accessibility to both treasures of the collection, and key exhibitions. With plans that include a vault, library, reading room, digital media room, and other spaces to accommodate the museum’s commitment to increased programming, the building will serve visitors in a new era. The new layout will address a more diverse constituency with broader year-round accessibility, multi-lingual films, and signage.

The Visitor Center, at the western entrance of the 750-acre campus, serves as the primary public entrance to the historic site, which has been a National Historic Landmark since 1968. The renovation will include open storage for the premiere objects in the museum’s substantial collection of Shaker artifacts.

With expertise in architecture, art, exhibition design, and furniture making, TSKP x IKD is ideally suited for the job, having worked with over 35 museums including the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Clark Art Institute, and Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum,. The firm, led by Yugon Kim and Tomomi Itakura, is well versed in storytelling through architectural design, art conservation, and the effective display of objects using a broad spectrum of skills in conjunction with a foundational belief that a seamless integration of form, function, material, and meaning is essential to poetic design, a space that elicits emotion and inspires action.

The Board of Trustees confirmed the recommendation of an 11-member Building Committee, formed last winter, comprising of experts who brought their collective knowledge in architecture, Shaker artifacts, construction, and collection storage to the table. Members of the committee are Harlow Murray (Chair), Diane Eshleman, Bruce Evenchik, Carrie Holland, Carina Liebeknecht, Scott Hand, Henry Moss, Bob Plotz, Bill Mangiardi, John Skavlem, and Jennifer Trainer Thompson. The committee solicited proposals from five firms, selecting TSKP x IKD from among those finalists. The choice was ratified by the Board on August 6, 2022. Nathaniel Silver will serve on the building committee moving forward.

TSKP x IKD is an award-winning interdisciplinary architectural design practice, with offices in Boston and San Francisco focusing on the intersection of art and architecture, culture and community.

In addition to architectural services to transform the Visitor Center, the TSKP x IKD team, including Yugon Kim, Tomomi Itakura, and Whit Iglehart, will also create a master plan for the western end of the Village, which includes the café, store, The Believer’s Room, and administrative offices, to understand and make recommendations for its full potential within the visitor experience.

“The dream of creating proper collection storage began more than 22 years ago when the Visitor Center was built, and it is extremely satisfying to think that we will finally fulfill that dream,” said Eshleman. “This is a terrific moment for the Village and this key transition – we’re very excited about Nathaniel Silver as the new leader of the Village, and incredibly grateful to Jennifer for having laid out the plans, established the foundation, and given us the momentum to get to where we are today.”

“We are thrilled to work with TKSD x IKD on this project that will realize long-held ambitions for Hancock Shaker Village,” said newly appointed museum Director Nathaniel Silver.

“Our approach considers the complex holistically,” said Yugon Kim of TSKP x IKD, “from practicalities like visitor flow and best use of space to the aesthetic and sensory experience of the visitor, and how they align with the values and intentions set forth by the Village."

Construction is scheduled to commence in the fall of 2023 with completion anticipated in the summer/fall of 2024.

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