Racine Art Museum: Exterior 1

Racine Art Museum

Racine, Wisconsin


To create a new home for a collection that had seen limited public display, we reimagined a 1960s bank building, actually a composite of seven structures, some dating from as far back as the Civil War-era. Several additions at the back of the building were removed to form an L-shaped footprint that could accommodate galleries, a museum shop, an art library and research center, art preparation and storage, and offices; within the arms of the L is a terrace overlooking Lake Michigan. To stretch a limited budget, we left most of the building's existing limestone cladding in place (a portion of it was reused as terrace material) and enveloped the museum in translucent acrylic panels. Iridescent during the day, at night they are lit from above and form a luminous icon on the city skyline.

Project Type



46,330 square feet


Bukacek Construction


Arnold & O’Sheridan, Structural, MEP
Liska + Associates, Graphics, Wayfinding


2005 AIA Chicago Divine Detail Award – Honor Award
2004 AIA Chicago Sustainable Design Award – Special Recognition for Downtown Revitalization
2003 AIA Chicago Distinguished Building Award – Citation of Merit
2003 AIA Chicago Interior Architecture Award – Honor Award
2002 Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design – American Architecture Award


“Brininstool + Lynch: Process,” December 10, 2004 – January 29, 2005. Ispace. The Chicago Gallery of the College of Fine and Applied Arts, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
“Road Trip: Racine Art Museum.” Fall 2004. Chicago Architecture Foundation.
“Racine Art Museum.” January – September 2002. Chicago Architecture Foundation.


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Cole, Kevin. “City to Bask in Glow of New Art Museum,” Dialogue, March/April 2003, 51.
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Lynch, Kevin. “Racine combines old and new in museum project,” The Capital Times, 27 June 2000.
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Christopher Barrett, Hedrich Blessing