SCAD Museum of Art


Savannah, GA




Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD),
Savannah, GA


Sottile & Sottile, Savannah, GA
Lord, Aeck & Sargent Architects, Atlanta, GA
Dawson Architects (Associate Architect), Savannah, GA

Structural Engineer:

W. Hunter Saussy III, PC, Savannah, GA


The Carson Company, Savannah, GA

Project Scope

Sq. Footage:

65,000 sf (expanded area)


$26 million


First Place Award—
"Best Restoration for Savannah College of Art
and Design’s Museum of Art",
ACI (America Concrete Institute) Georgia Chapter
SCAD Museum of Art
SCAD Museum of Art
SCAD Museum of Art
SCAD Museum of Art
SCAD Museum of Art
SCAD Museum of Art
SCAD Museum of Art
SCAD Museum of Art
SCAD Museum of Art
SCAD Museum of Art
SCAD Museum of Art

Design Features:
This landmark restoration project encompasses a new museum within the historic ruins of the original depot constructed in 1853, the nation’s only surviving antebellum railroad complex. When the planning for the new facility was initiated, most of the roof structure and much of the brick was in ruins. A contradistinctive facade uniting original 19th-century Savannah gray brick with modern precast insulated wall panels was selected, which adds new to the old while maintaining the historic vocabulary of the railroad complex.

The $26 million expansion adds 65,000 square feet to the museum's existing facility. “It contrasts the old and the new and the past and the future,” SCAD’s design architect Christian Sottile said, “We have centuries of layering throughout the site. It’s a building that could only have happened in Savannah and at SCAD.”

Unique Innovations:
Technically, the new building needed to be environmentally tight to maintain the strict museum HVAC conditioning and the new walls needed to be installed right behind the historic masonry. The solution was to cast a concrete wall system behind the historic masonry and a thermal efficient insulated precast concrete wall wherever the masonry is missing. This system of exterior skin leveraged thermal mass as an insulating strategy and provided a tight exterior seal even where the new wall was adjacent to the historic masonry, as well as creating permanent support for the historic masonry, which is fixed in time with ties back to the new walls.

Wherever possible, museum designers and architects used sustainable, renewable materials and employed the very best in energy-saving technologies. At present, the museum is outfitted with low-energy-consuming light fixtures, zoned climate control, exterior cooling towers, low-flow plumbing fixtures for water-use reduction and low-emissivity (low-E) glass on the south elevation.

Salvaged bricks and original heart pine timbers appear throughout the museum, as well as a majority of original high ceilings that allow for optimal temperature regulation and provide a dramatic background for the display and experience of art.

Back to