Arctic Museum and the Gibbons Center-Mills Hall Project Are Having a Media Moment

By Bowdoin News

The newly constructed John and Lile Gibbons Center for Arctic Studies and Barry Mills Hall, and the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum, which relocated from Hubbard Hall to the Gibbons Center, have been enjoying a synergy beyond the underground tunnel that physically connects the two structures. 

Barry Mills Hall and the John and Lile Gibbons Center for Arctic Studies image by Michael Moran
Barry Mills Hall (left) and the John and Lile Gibbons Center for Arctic Studies. Image: © Michael Moran
They are enjoying a burst of media attention near and far, both for what they hold and for what holds them together.

A five-page spread in the November/December issue of Metropolis, an architecture magazine known for its focus on ethics, innovation, and sustainability, highlights the Gibbons-Mills project’s pioneering use of mass timber in furthering the College’s commitment to carbon neutrality.

“We are legitimately offsetting our electricity use,” says Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration Matt Orlando in the article, adding that the power needs of both buildings are “well within the campus’s existing renewable energy capacity, all of which is drawn from on-site rooftop photovoltaic arrays, off-site solar farms, and purchased green energy credits,” and that the College covers 100 percent of campus electricity use with renewable energy each year. Read the Metropolis article in its entirety.

Other articles also noting that these are the first commercially scaled mass timber buildings in Maine appeared in December in the trade papers Archinect, The Architect’s Newspaper, CoStar News, and in New York Metropolitan.

A story about the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum in The Times Record shares an overview of the museum’s history, its transition to the new mass timber building, and its rich history with the Arctic.

The Portland Press Herald’s article on the Arctic Museum focuses on the inaugural exhibitions, the recent relocation into the larger, more accommodating space, and the enthusiastic response shown by a dramatic increase in the number of visitors.

Read about the spring 2023 dedication ceremonies for Barry Mills Hall and the John and Lile Gibbons Center for Arctic Studies.