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SFMOMA Expansion, San Francisco, United States

Tuesday 31 May 2011

A glimpse of the future

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Images released for Snøhetta expansion of San Francisco Museum of Art 

The San Francisco Museum of Art (SFMOMA) has just unveiled the preliminary design for a $480m expansion that will double the museum’s exhibition and education space while enhancing the visitor experience and more deeply weaving the museum into the fabric of the city.

Developed by Snøhetta in collaboration with local firm EHDD, the 225,000 sq ft expansion will run contiguously along the back of the museum’s current building designed by Swiss architect, Mario Botta. The new building will house seven levels of exhibition galleries topped by two floors of office space. Snøhetta’s big design move was opening up the complex and weaving the museum into the community, something it sorely needed, through the creation of new circulation routes.

On its east side, the building will incorporate a sweeping façade and a new public entrance in an unused area now concealed from public view. A mid-block, open air, 18ft-wide pedestrian promenade stretching between Howard Street and Natoma Street will be created to open a new route of public circulation via the neighbourhood and rejuvenate Natoma Street.

This public promenade will have a series of stairs and landings terracing up to an entry court that will stretch from the new entrance on the east side and offer additional public areas. The new entrance, which will be easily accessible from Howard and Natoma Streets, will align with the new Transbay Transit Centre.

The new addition will be highly transparent and allow for glimpses of the artwork in the galleries as well as the new public areas. Several outdoor terraces, including one on top of the existing building, are planned. The project is expected to complete by 2016.

Sharon McHugh
US Correspondent

Key Facts

Status Concept design
Value 0(m€)
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