IKD designed the renovation of a gallery space and casework in the historic Palazzo at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. The space, named the Vatichino, originally housed Gardner’s personal travel albums, books and photos, but was converted into a coat check in the early 1970s. The space had been unused since the construction of the new extension by the Renzo Piano Building Workshop in 2014.
Since Gardner’s will forbids significant changes to be made to the Museum, the opportunity to work inside the old Palazzo was a rare chance to create a fresh gallery space in the historic building. Working within tight space restrictions and complying with modern code requirements, IKD designed a contemporary, flexible, conservation grade casework system that would not only allow for the intimate viewing of objects, but also integrated seamlessly with the historical language of the rest of the building. The Vatichino continues to function as a permanent gallery for exhibiting rotating archival material from the Museum’s collection. IKD also designed the first exhibition within the space, including graphics and lighting design.