NEWSLETTER: 2016 Museum Architecture in the News


The Denver Art Museum’s North Building, designed by Gio Ponti in collaboration with James Sudler Associates of Denver.
Photo: Courtesy Denver Art Museum

Denver Art Museum Receives $25 Million Donation to Renovate Gio Ponti Designed Building (12/9)
The Denver Art Museum (DAM) announced the pledged donation of $25 million to the DAM from Board Chairman J. Landis Martin and his wife, Sharon Martin, as the lead gift and catalyst to launch the revitalization of the museum’s North Building. The iconic seven-story structure was originally designed by renowned Italian modernist Gio Ponti, in collaboration with local Denver architects James Sudler and Joal Cronenwett, in 1971 is celebrated as one of the first-ever high-rise art museums in the United States. In recognition of the Martins’ $25 million gift, the largest standalone financial gift in the museum’s history, the North Building will be renamed the J. Landis and Sharon Martin Building upon project completion.

Image: National Museum of African American History & Culture. Photo: Alan Karchmer/NMAAHC

David Adjaye-designed National Museum of African American History and Culture Opens (9/24)
The 400,000 square-foot building, designed by a team of architects led by David Adjaye, is to be the final Smithsonian institution to take its place on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The distinct profile of the museum is said to be inspired by the traditional Yoruban crown. In a recent interview for Metropolis, Adjaye said of the unique tripartite design of the building, that “… fundamentally, it symbolized the tripod-type nature of the brief. There are three fundamentals that organize the building. It’s history, the present, and the future. In a way, this triple crown of these three parts seems to literally fit the body of the project.”

Black Mountain College Museum + Art Center Completes Expansion (7/1)
Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center, in Asheville, NC, opened its inaugural exhibition celebrating the completion of a three-year, two-phase renovation and expansion project led by artist / designer Randy Shull and J. Richard Gruber, PhD, director of the newly launched Architecture + Design Institute (A+D@BMCM+AC). The completion of Phase II marks the opening of a second exhibition space across the street in a recently converted historic property, adding 2,400-square-foot space for exhibitions, performances, and public programs to the BMCM+AC, nearly doubling its previous size.

Snøhetta expansion of the new SFMOMA, 2016.
Photo: © Henrik Kam, courtesy SFMOMA.

SFMOMA Snøhetta-designed Expansion Reopens (5/14)
After being closed three years, SFMOMA’s reopened on May 14, 2016, unveiling a massive renovation of its former Botta-designed building with an additional 235,000 square foot expansion by Oslo-based Snøhetta. The museum also doubled in height, five to 10 floors, adding 100,000 square feet of gallery space, and bringing the museum to a total size of 460,000 square feet. Read more about the transformation from our May/June 2016 issue by Chérie Louise Turner here.

Yale Center for British Art, Photo: Richard Caspole.

Louis Kahn-Designed Yale Center for British Art Reopens (5/11)
The Yale Center for British Art reopened on Wednesday, May 11, 2016, following a multiyear conservation project of the Louis I. Kahn-designed building. The three-part $33 million renovation of Kahn’s final building (completed 1977) was led by architect George Knight, Principal of Knight Architecture LLC (New Haven).

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art announces new Space for Contemporary Art (3/30)
The 63,000-square-foot former Kraft Foods factory building will house exhibition space dedicated to visual art, performance, music, film, theatre, and multi-disciplinary artists-in-residence programs. Wheeler Kearns Architects of Chicago were selected to transform the now-defunct factory building into a multi-venue facility, located just 1.5 miles south of the museum’s main campus. Future plans also include collaboration with the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) to develop contemporary art programs and residencies to take place in the new building, scheduled to open in 2018.

The Met Breuer Opens to the Public (3/18)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art opened The Met Breuer in the renovated Marcel Breuer-designed building on Madison Avenue. The new location with feature a program geared toward the art of the 20th and 21st centuries in dialogue with historic works that embrace the full range and geographic reach of the museum’s collection.

Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive Reopens to the Public (1/31)
BAMPFA opened its new downtown Berkeley location designed by Diller, Scofidio + Renfro to the public on January 31. The new site, the third for what was originally known as UC Berkeley’s Univeristy Art Museum, was a late-1930s Art Deco–style UC Berkeley printing plant that required extensive renovation before completion.