New details revealed for SFMOMA expansion
New details were unveiled this week of the $555m expansion of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Designed by Snøhetta with Craig Dykers at the helm, the museum has recast itself as a more neighborly institution and one with its sights on being a player in the international arts scene. SFMOMA has always had a respectable if not impressive collection of art but like many older art museums, it has long suffered from a lack of space and a reliance on a building that reflects a somewhat dated vision of what an art museum needs to be. Speaking about the expansion when first brought on board, Dykers said: “The museum shouldn’t be purely seen as an educational experience but a social experience as well.”
Not surprising Dykers has opened up the fortressed museum, designed by Mario Botta, and given it greater visibility, achieved through transparency, and better access with several new entrances planned, and more room to grow its programs both within and beyond its walls. Within the 235,000 sq ft structure, which aspires for LEED Gold, there will be more free-to-the-public spaces and activities, more flexible galleries, and new spaces for new uses, including live performances and film screenings. It will have 130,000 sq ft of indoor and outdoor gallery space, more than doubling SFMoMA’s current capacity for the presentation of art. Inside the building will be a large scale vertical garden, to be the largest public living wall of native plants in San Francisco.
The addition, which is tucked behind the Botta building and is said to reference the mountains, is a 10-storey rectangular block with a white concrete facade with a rippled pattern that is punctuated with strips of glass. At the uppermost levels the the building is pulled back to create terraces, which softens its mass while providing additional amenity space for visitors. At the ground level, the building dematerializes into a glass wall where passers-by can peer in to one of the new galleries for large scale art, which will be anchored by a Richard Serra sculpture.
SFMoMA’s expanded home is on track to begin construction in summer of 2013 and will reopen in early 2016.