San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Announces Finalists for Facilities Expansion Partner

. May 12, 2010

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) has selected Adjaye Associates, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Foster + Partners, and Snøhetta as finalists following a comprehensive international search for an architectural firm to partner with the museum to expand and improve its current facilities. Motivated by the tremendous, ongoing growth of SFMOMA’s programming, collections, and audiences in recent years, the expansion will triple the museum’s gallery and public spaces; support enhanced exhibitions, educational programs, and services for the public; and showcase the Doris and Donald Fisher Collection, one of the finest collections of modern and contemporary art in the world.

The expansion will encompass additional gallery space and interior enhancements in the museum’s Third Street building, designed by architect Mario Botta, and an extension with presence on Howard Street, to the south, that will connect to the back of the existing museum along the southern facade. SFMOMA owns the site at 670 Howard Street and, thanks to an innovative partnership with the City of San Francisco that will boost both public safety and the arts, SFMOMA’s development will also include a neighboring site currently occupied by a fire station. SFMOMA will finance the construction of a new, replacement fire station on nearby Folsom Street, representing a gift to the city of more than $10 million.

“SFMOMA has pursued a strategic vision in steadily growing both the size and quality of its collections and programs and expanding its educational role in the region since moving into our signature downtown building in 1995,” said Director Neal Benezra. “We are now poised for another transformation and look forward to collaborating with one of these exceptional architectural firms to develop an expanded museum that will support great art experiences, serve the neighborhood and the city, and reinforce SFMOMA’s role as a creative catalyst for San Francisco and a global force for contemporary art on the West Coast.”

During the next few months, SFMOMA’s architect selection committee, made up of museum and community leaders, will travel to the offices of each architectural firm and visit relevant buildings to better understand how they might contribute to SFMOMA’s vision of creating an inspiring place for visitors to engage with modern and contemporary art. The selection of the architect will be announced in September. Initial design concepts will be unveiled in 2011. The expansion is slated for completion in 2016.

SFMOMA first announced plans to expand in April 2009. This past February, the museum announced challenge pledges totaling more than $250 million toward its projected $480 million campaign goal to fund the expansion and grow SFMOMA’s endowment. This early challenge grant from museum leadership includes $100 million for the endowment—increasing it by 100 percent.

The museum formed an architect selection committee last fall and engaged David Meckel, FAIA, director of research and planning at California College of the Arts, to serve as a resource in the process. The committee began by examining the work of some 35 firms and narrowed the search to a smaller group who were invited to present ideas on how they would approach the project and meet SFMOMA’s goals. Following further research and development with the finalists in the coming months, the search committee will make a recommendation to the full SFMOMA Board of Trustees. The chosen firm will join SFMOMA’s project team and partner with San Francisco–based architecture and engineering firms to execute the expansion.

“The Bay Area is known for innovation and creativity in all sectors—from the arts to business, technology, and even social movements,” said SFMOMA Board Chair Charles R. Schwab. “This expansion and the addition of the Fisher Collection will make SFMOMA one of the great modern and contemporary art museums in the world, and by strengthening the museum we will also boost San Francisco’s economy and its global reputation as a city for the arts.”

As part of the expansion planning process, SFMOMA worked with the management consulting firm Bain & Company late last year to complete a comprehensive business plan determining the operating expenses and related revenue and endowment requirements necessary to sustain an expanded program and facility. The project budget includes $250 million for the expansion and related expenses and $230 million for the endowment to support the growth of SFMOMA’s programming and operations and ensure the museum’s long-term success.

SFMOMA last completed a major expansion in 1995, when it moved from the small rented space in the War Memorial Building across from San Francisco’s City Hall into the celebrated brick-front building on Third Street. The move catalyzed incredible growth in the museum’s audiences, educational programs, exhibitions, and collections. During the past 15 years, SFMOMA’s annual average attendance has more than tripled to 700,000, membership has grown to 40,000, and the collection has more than doubled to 27,000 works. SFMOMA has also developed one of strongest exhibition programs in the world, organizing groundbreaking shows that travel to leading museums internationally, including recent surveys of the work of Diane Arbus, Olafur Eliasson, Eva Hesse, Frida Kahlo, William Kentridge, Sol LeWitt, Richard Tuttle, and Jeff Wall.

Today, SFMOMA is expanding to accommodate the growth of the past 15 years and to enhance its offerings for growing local audience and visitors from around the world. The expansion also provides great potential for continued future growth of the museum’s permanent collection. The Fisher Collection will be on display in the expansion alongside works from SFMOMA’s collection. The Fisher Collection will also become an integral part of SFMOMA’s exhibitions, educational and public programs, and ongoing scholarship.

Image: SFMOMA; Photo: Richard Barnes

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
151 Third Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

www.sfmoma.org

Category: Museum News

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