SFMOMA launches design competition

Niki May Young
09 Feb 2010

Revenue raised means expansion designs can begin

$250 million of funding has now been raised to expand the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, allowing the original West Coast contemporary art space’s Board to announce a design competition for the expansion. The money represents more than half of the $480 million needed to triple its gallery and public spaces; offer enhanced exhibitions, educational programs, and services for the public; and showcase the Fisher Collection, one the world’s finest private collections of modern and contemporary art.

A selection of architects will be approached for the competition with an announcement of the winner expected in Autumn this year.The expansion will comprise 100,000 sq ft of gallery and public space much of which will be housed in a new wing on Howard Street. Extending north across Natoma Street the wing will connect to the rear of the museum along the southern façade. The expansion will also include 40,000 sq ft of support space, including larger and more advanced conservation facilities and an expanded library.

"SFMOMA has a distinguished track record for championing great architecture and design, as evidenced by our design exhibitions, our collection, and our current building," noted Neal Benezra, Director SFMoMA. "The success of the past 15 years has led SFMOMA to a point where it needs to expand again to meet current public demand and engage and serve future generations of visitors. This expansion will reflect SFMOMA's commitment to excellent design while achieving our primary objectives: to offer an unparalleled visitor experience and continue to grow our collections and exhibition programs.

SFMOMA's original building is a landmark of San Francisco. Designed in 1995 by Mario Botta it features a stepped and patterned brick facade topped by a soaring cylindrical turret. Across five stories it provides 225,000 sq ft with nearly 65,000 sq ft of galleries, including the 14,400-sq ft Rooftop Garden.

Completion of the expansion is anticipated in 2016.

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