Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Project Case Study
McCownGordon has completed multiple projects for the renowned museum including the American and American Indian Galleries Renovation, the Ancient Egyptian Gallery Renovation, the Robert Morris Glass Labyrinth and the Roxy Paine Ferment Sculpture. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, already acclaimed for its encyclopedic collection, has earned acclaim for striking additions and improvements to its facility.


The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art


Collaborative Delivery


Kansas City, MO


American Institute of Architects Merit Award for Excellence

The renovation to the American and American Indian collections included the total overhaul of the existing historic galleries, expansion of the space from 8,000 to 13,000 square feet. Working in such a small space with limited access encouraged McCownGordon to think creatively.

With no windows on the second floor, the team briefly opened up the museum’s roof to fly in the air-handling unit by helicopter. The project team upgraded outdated mechanical equipment and finished the space with the finest materials, including Israel Graige stone flooring and bathroom partitions, Etruscan Rose stone columns and wood flooring.

Within the Nelson-Atkins Egyptian Gallery, the team demolished the existing ceiling, floor, and wall finishes and completed selective demolition of existing mechanical ductwork. The Robert Morris Glass Labyrinth covers 1,250 square feet with the structure made of a blue stone paver base, aluminum channel system, and one-inch thick glass panels with a bronze cap.

The team installed the Roxy Paine Ferment Sculpture, a 56-foot stainless steel, 34,000-pound tree sculpture, which required nine rock anchors that were drilled 30 feet into the ground. In addition, crane roads and pads were built to provide a way for all of the pieces to be brought to the site at the top of a large hill.

Nelson Atkins Museum of art sculpture