Originally designed by Louis Khan the Yale Center for British Art has reopened following its refurbishment at a price tag of $33 million. George Knight of local design firm Knight Architecture led the restoration of the 1970s building in collaboration with Constance Clement, the center's deputy director, and UK conservation architects Peter Inskip + Peter Jenkins Architects. Yale adds, "more than a decade of research on the history of the design, construction, and renovation of Kahn's seminal building guided the completion of the project."
The concrete four-story structure is clad in steel and reflective glass. Galleries encase two interior courtyards with multiple skylights to illuminate the many rooms. Notable features include the concrete stair tower in the Library Court and the added seating areas for guests in wheelchairs. The center holds the largest collection of British art outside of the United Kingdom ranging from the 16th century to present day.
The first of the three restoration phases being from 2008-2013 on an exterior courtyard referred to as the Lower Court and a lobby outside the buildings Lecture Hall. The second phases pertained to the departments holding prints, drawings, rare books and manuscripts. Storage was added, the worn Belgian linen replaced, and staff offices reconfigured to better fit their needs. Other interior finishes include white oak cabinetry and travertine marble. The third phase in 2015 focused on enhancing galleries and the Lecture Hall. Second through fourth-floor galleries were refurbished in Kahn's original design. Demountable partitions called "pogo walls" were introduced for versatility in displaying art depending on the exhibition.