Full steam ahead for Gehry’s Weisman Art Museum
Despite a weak economy, which caused many cultural projects around the globe to be put on hold, the Weisman Art Museum’s multimillion-dollar expansion project at the University of Minnesota is happily moving forward. The 8,100 sq ft addition, designed by Frank Gehry, began construction this week and is expected to complete in October 2011.
The news marks a significant up note for Gehry who suffered the disappointment of his design for Atlantic Yards' Barclay's Centre being dropped earlier in the year with the financial crisis being blamed.
The Weisman project completes Gehry's original vision for the Museum, which he designed in 1990-93, during an important period of his career in which projects such as the Guggenheim Bilbao were also in design. The design adds five new gallery spaces to the east and south of the existing museum. Two of the galleries will house American art, one will house ceramics and one will house photography and works of art on paper. The fifth gallery, funded by a $2 million gift from Target, will house cross disciplinary collaborations between the University’s faculty and scholars and artists from across the globe.
The new addition will be built of stainless steel and terra-cotta coloured brick, continuing the palette of the exsiting museum. HGA Architects and Engineers of Minneapolis will serve as the local architect for the project.