Italian architect Renzo Piano helped unveil the Isabella Stewart Gardner's new wing to members of the media Wednesday morning.
Writers from outlets such as The Wall Street Journal and the design magazine Dwell were there taking in the airy, four-story wing.
Museum staff showed off the addition with guided tours and a rehearsal in the new state-of-the-art concert hall.
Sitting in the new "Living Room" — with the original museum visible through the windows behind him — Piano said he designed the contemporary building as a counterpoint to Mrs. Gardner's much-loved historic palace.
"It’s not about competing, it’s about taking the legacy and then doing something that is equally interesting, in your time, one century later," he said, adding that it's also meant to carry on the museum founder's civic mission.
"To make Boston a better place to live, and at the same time to enjoy art. To enjoy music. To enjoy educating people."
The public is invited to visit the new museum next week — for free — from Jan. 19-21.
This program aired on January 11, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.