Opening date revealed for Snøhetta's spectacular San Francisco SFMOMA expansion

by Kim Megson | 27 Oct 2015

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) will officially open its Snøhetta-designed 235,000sq ft (21,800sq m) extension on May 14, 2016.

The creation of a new 10-storey gallery building will triple the museum’s exhibition space, allowing it to house SFMOMA’s vast collection of art, sculpture and photography. The new structure will sit alongside the museum’s existing 225,000sq ft (20,900sq m) building, designed by Mario Botti.

Speaking exclusively to CLADmag earlier this year, Snøhetta founding partner Kjeti Trædal Thorsen said the design for SFMOMA will “create more social interactions and closer relationships to the surrounding streetscapes, giving more connection to outdoor and indoor areas and, of course, expanding exhibition areas and making it possible to show more art.”

Particularly innovative is the asymmetrical eastern façade of the Snøhetta expansion. It comprises more than 700 uniquely-shaped crystal-embedded fibreglass reinforced polymer panels, fixed to a curtain-wall system. As a result the building catches the changing light and shifts in appearance throughout the day.

Describing how the architects solved the problem of building in such a dense urban area, Thorsen said: “With a vertical museum structure, we needed to bring people in an easy yet recognisable way from one floor to the next. And we needed to connect the two buildings and create interactive areas that would support both. We have done that by creating a new common space on the first floor that links the buildings in a simple manner and also makes it easy for visitors to orientate themselves.”

In addition to the gallery space, the museum’s new building will feature a two-storey conservation centre and a restaurant called In Situ, operated by Michelin-starred chef Corey Lee.

The project has been funded by more 500 donors, with US$610m (€551.6m, £398m) raised to pay for the construction and the museum’s education, art commissioning and exhibition programmes.

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The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) will officially open its Snøhetta-designed 235,000sq ft (21,800sq m) extension on May 14, 2016. The creation of a new 10-storey gallery building will triple the museum’s exhibition space, allowing it to house SFMOMA’s vast collection of art, sculpture and photography. The new structure will sit alongside the museum’s existing 225,000sq ft (20,900sq m) building, designed by Mario Botti. Speaking exclusively to CLADmag
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The building's innovative facade catches the changing light and shifts in appearance throughout the day.
/ Henrik Kam, courtesy of SFMOMA.
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