Creating a greener WAM
The 50-year-old windows and skylights in the Higgins Education Wing (HEW) are being replaced with new, energy efficient, thermal pane units. This project will improve energy efficiency by keeping heat in during winter and reflecting solar gain in summer, as well as keep studio, public gathering, and office spaces comfortable year-round. It will also help make the Museum’s building more environmentally sustainable by reducing energy use and contributing to lower greenhouse gas emissions.
The original single-pane windows, installed when the HEW was constructed in 1968, are in poor condition. Rusted steel frames, cracked glass, and inadequate thermal performance make this window upgrade a priority and part of an overall campus improvement plan outlined in the Museum’s Strategic Plan 2022-2026. Care has been taken to maintain the original mullion configuration and as much of the original detail as possible in the replacement windows.
Begun in February 2022, the window and skylight replacements will take place over the course of several months in multiple phases, moving through the building section by section. The HEW will remain open through the project, and studio classes will be held. During this time, parts of the building may be temporarily unavailable to the public due to the nature of the work. Signs will direct visitors, students, and staff safely around construction areas. Students will receive regular communication with updates related to their classes.
Built by The Architects Collaborative (TAC)—an internationally renowned firm co-founded by the German architect and Bauhaus founder, Walter Gropius—the Higgins Education Wing is historically significant. It is also vital to the Museum’s mission and ability to serve our community with studio art classes and public programming. This upgrade, planned in coordination with Worcester and Massachusetts Historical Commission (WHC/ MHC), will ensure the HEW is a safe, comfortable, and inspiring space for many years to come.
For further information, please view our Higgins Education Wing Window Replacement Project FAQs.
Contractor: Kaplan Construction of Brookline, MA