West Virginia University


West Virginia University Art Museum and Rare Book Room

Morgantown, West Virginia

15,000 gsf / 1,394 m2

Architecture, Building Systems Consulting, Engineering, Environmental Science, Programming


Although West Virginia University’s art collection numbered in the thousands of pieces, it didn’t have a permanent home. Many of the works were stored in the university’s library, with just a limited number on display. The university sought to establish an art museum that could safely house the WVU collection and consolidate the museum functions of the College of Creative Arts.

SmithGroupJJR’s design features a bright glass and steel rectangular form, a climate-controlled environment that will house the university’s permanent collection galleries, special collections galleries and changing exhibitions. Other program spaces include an auditorium, a rare-book library, reading room, workshop/photography studio and outdoor sculpture garden. The new facility connects to the former alumni building, which will be renovated to house museum offices, a bookstore and café. Located near the university’s Creative Arts Center, the new museum will serve as a major cultural attraction. Not only will it bring greater recognition to the College of Creative Arts, it creates a major arts destination that will be the pride of the university and the greater community.