Glenstone, The Pavilions

Potomac, Maryland, United States

Project Summary

Though just 15 minutes outside Washington, DC, the environmental art exhibition known as Glenstone feels a world away. The sprawling display presents works from one of the most important private collections of post-World War II art. Comprising some 200 acres, the museum blends art, landscape, and architecture in a wholly unique way.

A 170,000 SF expansion was planned to increase access and showcase a larger portion of its always free-to-view collection. Designed by Thomas Phifer and Partners, the project includes over 50,000 SF of exhibition space in the form of gallery room pavilions designed to exquisitely showcase single-artist installations.


As Project Manager, MGAC assisted the client throughout all project phases, including design team procurement and management, bidding, construction management, budgeting, scheduling, reporting, and oversight of legal entitlements. MGAC also acted as owner’s representative and project manager for technology services, providing oversight and coordination of the design and construction teams to ensure a modern, fully integrated technology platform.


The quest to create an iconic, world-class building recognized for form and function presented unprecedented construction and procurement challenges. The expansion’s unique design vision pushed the limits of proven processes—and readily-available materials—necessitating extensive coordination and meetings with experts in laboratories and on-site. The picturesque location that inspired the architecture and landscape design also challenged the development team—namely, its lack of access to appropriate infrastructure and concerns about the expansion’s impact on the local community. While building community support, MGAC also secured county approvals for reorienting utilities, reinforcing bridges, and adding acreage to the landscape.

Success Factors

Upon completing the museum expansion, Glenstone quadrupled its exhibit space. But what’s more, Glenstone strengthened its commitment to the public—and the transformative role art plays in our lives—through its free, intimate access to private art, world-class architecture, and serene landscapes living in harmony.


Sustainability is an important part of Glenstone’s mission and was a key factor in the design and execution of the project, which contained multiple LEED Platinum and LEED Gold buildings. To support long-term sustainability goals, our technology team designed, procured, and implemented fully integrated building systems that can be accessed anytime, anywhere. From an iPad, Glenstone’s facility managers can monitor and maintain temperature, light, and traffic throughout the museum to ensure the building is operating sustainably and optimally.