Its construction is part of the city's ambitious plan to "revitalize" downtown Davenport, adjacent to the banks of the Mississippi River. The new building should again attract businesses and residents to the area.
Since the collection of the museum, which includes Western European and American painting from the 15th century to the present day, as well as colonial Mexican and Haitian art, does not exceed 3,500 exhibits, the size of the new building is also quite modest. It has only 9,000 sq. m area.
The main two-story rectangular volume is crowned with a smaller parallelepiped, both of which are enclosed in a glass envelope 1.2 m behind the walls of the museum.
Its surface is covered with horizontal white lines of varying density, due to which it absorbs more than reflects light. Also, this decor works, according to the architect, like blinds, preventing bright sunlight from illuminating the exhibits. The new galleries will provide space for both masterpieces from the permanent collection and temporary exhibitions. In the old building of the museum, it was possible to exhibit only one percent of the total number of works of art stored there. The $ 46.9 million project was funded by the Fij Foundation to make this possible, the museum was transferred from municipal to private ownership.
This is the first freestanding British Chipperfield building in the United States - before that there were Dolce & Gabbana boutiques in New York and Los Angeles and the interior design of the Bryant Park Hotel in Manhattan. The new Central Library of Des Moines, the capital of Iowa, will open next April, also designed by this architect.