Solid travertine drum and slab; lunette frame and
window beyond. Photo by Eileen Wold, 2003
In 1963, David and Carmen Kreeger began working with architects Philip Johnson and Richard Foster on the design of a modern building that they intended to be their residence and later, a museum. The building served as the residence for the Kreegers from 1967 to 1990; the Kreeger Museum opened to the public on June 1, 1994.
"My thoughts about the house today have not changed since it was first conceived. I believe it answered perfectly the program set forth by the Kreegers. Its monumentality is as correct and current today as it was when built. To the mantle of public leadership that he assumed so willingly. To the long-range vision that his home would eventually be a museum, constructed for the delight of generations that would follow his rich and rewarding life." —Richard Foster, 1994
The 24,000-square-foot building is designed on a modular system of 22-by-22-foot cubes adapted for different functions of living space, gallery space, and often, both. The Great Hall, the largest open space in the building, is topped by three vaulted domes that create a natural amplification system that allows one to hear a concert perfectly from any space in the room.
The building is constructed of steel, concrete block, and brick. Seventeen concrete domes, overlaid with synthetic rubberized material, form the roof. The modern exterior, inspired in part by Philip Johnson's admiration for and prior collaboration with Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, is clad with travertine slabs from Italy. Richard Foster, Philip Johnson's partner, oversaw the construction of the building and travelled to Italy to oversee the selection of the slabs.
The Great Hall of The Kreeger Museum.
Photo by Robert Lautman, 2004