Learn more about MGAC’s acquisition of RLF

Case Study :

Glenstone, Potomac, Maryland

What if we could build an

enduring legacy of art,
architecture, and landscape?

Credit: Iwan Baan Courtesy of Glenstone Museum

01  Challenge


Located on a 230-acre property outside Washington, DC, Glenstone seeks to provide a one-of-a-kind museum experience for lovers of modern art in all its forms. Our first introduction to Glenstone came through an engagement to conduct a cost study of the original museum building, completed in 2006. The study served as a snapshot of the overall project – and revealed opportunities for cost savings that could inform future planned developments on the property.

02  Spaces


Soon after, the client engaged us to manage the design and construction of their latest expansion: a new museum building designed by Thomas Phifer and Partners. In addition to managing the design and construction team, MGAC provided overall project management, including budgeting, reporting, oversight of legal entitlements, procurement strategies, and schedule management

Credit: Peter Guthri, Courtesy Glenstone

03  Complexities


The picturesque location that served as inspiration for the architecture and landscape design also presented specific challenges for the development team – including lack of access to appropriate infrastructure and concerns about the expanded museum’s impact on the local community. In addition to building community support for the project, we also secured county approvals for reorienting utilities, reinforcing local bridges to handle construction materials, and adding acreage to the landscape.

04  Vision


Our client and the architect shared a unique vision for the design of this museum expansion – one that pushes the limits of proven processes and readily-available materials. Our team worked with concrete experts, in the laboratory and on-site, to develop a custom concrete blend and curing process to achieve the architect’s smooth, consistent vision of the material. Contrasted with expansive windows tirelessly sourced from overseas, together, the glass and concrete blur the line between indoor and outdoor spaces, and between art and building.

Together, the procurement and construction process presented challenges like we’ve never experienced before – ones that were all addressed through the innovation, resourcefulness, and dedication of the collective team. The result is exactly what we set out to achieve – an iconic, world-class building that will be recognized equally for its beauty, technique, and functionality.

Credit: Iwan Baan Courtesy of Glenstone Museum


sf water court




trees planted

Credit: Iwan Baan Courtesy of Glenstone Museum

05  Technology

The push for best-in-class design did not stop with how the building looks

– but also extended to how it operates. The client engaged the services of our Integrated Building Technologies team to design, procure, and implement fully integrated building systems that are controlled from the palm of your hand. From an iPad, Glenstone’s facility managers will monitor and maintain temperature, light, and traffic throughout the museum to ensure the building is operating sustainably and optimally.

06  Mission

With the completion of the museum expansion in October 2018, Glenstone strengthened its commitment to the public – and quadrupled its exhibit space – offering free, intimate access to contemporary art, world-class architecture, and serene landscapes living in harmony.

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