It has been over 30 years since the Charles Shipman Payson Wing of the Portland Museum of Art opened. Membership has grown, staff has increased, art storage rooms are full, and larger event space is needed, among other facility needs. Simons Architects was asked to develop a Master Plan that would create a roadmap for growth over the next 20 – 25 years. The Master Plan project created an opportunity to reimagine how PMA functions, looks, and feels, how it integrates into the community, how it responds to changing demographics and technology, and how it positions itself on local, state, and national stages.
SA studied the entire campus and adjoining properties, meeting with administrators, staff, Trustees, Committee members, and selected neighbors to learn what the needs are for the existing facilities and desires for the future. Meeting with the Building Committee every three weeks, our process was inclusive and collaborative. The project provided a chance to revisit the PMA campus and to introduce elements that align with today’s audiences so that the PMA continues to be a major cultural leader in Maine and New England. The first phase completed was the update to the front desk and the creation of a visible art conservation and meeting room.