Earlier this year I was asked to join the accessions committee for the Architecture and Design Department of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. It seems it was an opportune time, as the museum is making some exciting changes, most notable of which is a new expansion of the museum itself. The expansion project will double the existing gallery space to 130,000 square feet, and will also heavily modify the existing galleries to differ in scale, materials and lighting specifically designed to showcase a range of art, from photography to installation, video, painting and sculpture.
From my perspective, the most exciting aspect of the expansion is how it will integrate into the surrounding city. There will be multiple added entrances which will feature some unique galley set-ups designed to blur the edge between the city and museum. The building introduces a façade on Howard Street that will feature a large, street-level gallery enclosed in glass on three sides, providing views of both the art in the galleries and the new public spaces. The work inside will be visible from the outside even when the museum is closed.
Public circulation between the museum and the city will be enhanced through the creation of free ground-level galleries, new entrances that make the museum accessible from every direction, a central public gathering place, and more extensive routes of public circulation. The use of glass throughout the building, as well as the creation of several outdoor terraces and a new sculpture garden, further serves to open up the museum and connect it to the city.
To read more about the design, check out the video and write up on SFMOMA's website HERE.