Designed to house John D. Rockefeller’s collection of medieval art in 1938, the Cloisters is a world-famous museum that operates as a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The museum complex is composed of four ancient cloisters. The St. Guilhem Gallery houses the twelfth century artifacts from the Benedictine Abbey, St. Guilhem le Desert, located in the south of France.
Easton Architects was asked to reinterpret the Gallery, which is the only cloister in the museum with a protective roof and ceiling. A new roof with a hipped glass skylight was designed with a low slope to make it invisible from the ground. A new laylight design better reflects the proportions and intention of the space, allowing more natural light to filter into the room, documenting the passage of time through the changing pattern of sunlight-daily and seasonally. The project called for the complete exterior restoration of all walls, roofs, copings and flashings to insure a watertight environment. This complicated and challenging project received unanimous approval from all regulatory review agencies.
The Cloisters complex is a local New York City Landmark, listed on the State and National Registers, and a National Historic Landmark.