the new san francisco museum of modern art is set to open its doors to the public, with an official opening scheduled for may 14, 2016. completed by snøhetta, the expanded SFMOMA seamlessly integrates a 10-storey structure with the original mario botta-designed building. purpose-built to showcase the institution’s celebrated collection, the transformed museum offers three times more exhibition space, with free access to ground-floor galleries. SFMOMA is opening with 19 special exhibitions, including highlights from the renowned fisher collection, hundreds of works promised through the campaign for art, and the new pritzker center for photography inaugurate museum.
throughout the project’s development, connections to the surrounding neighborhood and city were carefully considered. new pedestrian pathways and a public entrance on howard street better integrate SFMOMA within the neighborhood and activate the surrounding streetscape. the eastern façade of the snøhetta-designed expansion is inspired in part by the waters and fog of the san francisco bay. throughout the day, the movement of light and shadow naturally animates the rippled surface, which comprises more than 700 uniquely shaped FRP (fiberglass reinforced polymer) panels.
‘our design seeks to create an intimate experience, welcoming a diversity of visitors to the magnificent collection, and fostering a connection between the visitor and museum for years to come,’ explains craig dykers, founding partner of snøhetta. ‘all of the senses will be engaged as part of the experience. wonderful day lit staircases lead visitors from floor to floor, the galleries create a comfortable viewing experience of the art, and terraces allow for moments of repose, to be reinvigorated by fresh air, sunlight and vistas of the city between galleries. the visitor should sense that the building is inspired by one of the great cities of the world, san francisco.’
visitors are welcomed to the new museum via two main entrances, leading to ground floor exhibition spaces that are free to all. the entrance on third street welcomes visitors to the re-imagined evelyn and walter haas, jr. atrium, where an oculus floods the space with natural light. a 27-foot-wide mobile by alexander calder draws the eye upwards, while a sculptural stairway leads visitors to the helen and charles schwab hall — the main gathering space on the second floor.
on howard street, a new museum entrance adjacent to the glass-walled roberts family gallery allows visitors to enter the museum through schwab hall. now containing richard serra’s monumental sculpture ‘sequence’ (2006), the gallery is presented to passersby, creating a visual connection between the city and the museum. a set of maple-faced roman steps provides an informal public gathering spot and seating area. diverse gallery spaces support the display of specific collections and works of various scales — ranging from intimate volumes to column-free galleries that permit temporary wall layouts. an octagonal-shaped gallery is devoted to seven works by agnes martin, while loft-like exhibition spaces on the seventh floor offer further room for contemporary artworks.
terraces adjacent to many galleries are capable of displaying outdoor sculptures and offer sweeping views across san francisco. a third-floor sculpture terrace is home to the largest public living wall in the united states with more than 19,000 plants and 21 native species. the curated sequence of spaces allows visitors to enjoys artworks as well as views of the city as they circulate through the museum. the institution is one of the first in the country to employ all LED lighting throughout the gallery spaces.
we are so excited to open the doors and welcome the public to the new SFMOMA. we have an incredible new building, an expanded collection with thousands of new works of the highest quality, and a staff that is proud to share what they’ve been working on for the past three years. this is your SFMOMA and we can’t wait to share it with you,’ says nealbenezra, the helen and charles schwab director of SFMOMA.
the institution is one of the first in the country to employ all LED lighting throughout the gallery spaces
a city gallery featuring ‘untitled’ by joel shapiro (1989)
pat and bill wilson sculpture terrace featuring alexander calder’s sculpture maquette for trois disques (three disks), formerly ‘man’ (1967)
the rippled façade comprises more than 700 panels
the new extension illuminated at night