The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) reopens this week after a massive three-year renovation that sees the museum increase in size from 70,000 square feet to 170,000 square feet. Norwegian firm Snøhetta have added a ten story iceberg-like building to the existing the museum (designed by Mario Botta in 1995) which is hard to say whether it dominates or honors the original site, but inside the two buildings are seamlessly joined with linking corridors that give the illusion of one giant gallery.
In an effort to make the museum more accessible and reach a broader audience the museum will be open 7 days a week and free to anyone under the age of 18. Visitors can navigate the exhibitions with a location aware app developed by Detour that adjusts the audio tour in real-time so you don't have to interact with the screen and can focus on the art.
Snøhetta didn't want to create another 'spectacle' building for the cultural institution—and they didn't—they've given a lot of consideration to the physical scale of the galleries, the use of natural light, created multiple outdoor spaces and a living wall garden that brings some much needed greenery to the site. The sculptured exterior is made from over 700 panels of fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) inspired the rippling waters of the San Francisco Bay and the cities fog. The panels are cheaper to produce than concrete and extremely lightweight which contributed to further structural cost savings.
One of the nicest details is an art conservation room featuring floor to ceiling windows that allow visitors to get a peek at the inner workings of the museum. The studio will also function as a place for invited artists to train staff in their techniques and host small workshops.
The museum opens May 14th, 2016 and for the designer's reading, don't miss the Typeface to Interface exhibition documenting the rapid transformation of digital typography and it's impact on graphic design.
151 Third Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
Open daily: 10am – 5pm
(Thursdays until 9pm)