TRM Architect


Castellani Art Museum

Contemporary Art Museum

Niagara University, NY


During a period of rapid growth, Niagara University challenged TRM to provide them with an art gallery and contemporary classrooms to be operational the following school year. After much research and examination of existing facilities, the project culminated in a fully functional photography studio, ceramics studio, fine arts studio and flexible exhibition space.


The gray Italian Marble clad museum, built in 1990, has been described as a kind of austere Greek temple, which pays homage to classical, historical design and proportion, but it does so in an understated, contemporary fashion. The twelve unadorned white marble columns highlight the main entry portico, which also serves as an outdoor sculpture display area. While the exterior of the building is designed to classically express its function as a home to world class artworks, the interior is intended to serve as a backdrop for their display.


The interior design features:

• a 2,100 sq. ft. interior, skylit sculpture court with a gleaming granite floor and a 20 foot high glass wall separating it from the main gallery.

• a 4,200 sq. ft. main gallery capable of displaying large paintings and artworks up to 20 ft. high.

• nine visitor oriented display areas surrounding the main gallery.

• art classroom space.


The use of traditional exterior marble cladding in northern climates has historically experienced difficulties in maintaining stability under the stresses of freeze/thaw moisture cycles. The Castellani Art Museum incorporates an innovative technique of integrating marble veneer with a stress relieving honeycomb core that allows the use of this classic material in severe climates without the adverse effects traditionally experienced.






Project Type: Academic - Higher Education



Niagara University


Project Schedule:

Estimated Date of Completion: Summer 1990

Actual Date of Completion: Summer 1990


Construction Costs:

Estimated Project Costs: $ 3,500,000

Actual Project Costs: $ 3,500,000

Final Project Costs: $ 3,500,000



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