SFMOMA, San Francisco’s main modern art horde, has unveiled the conceptual design for its upcoming 225,000-square-foot addition. The scheme by Norwegian architects Snøhetta includes a new entrance on the building’s eastern side, fronting a brand-new pedestrian walkway on what is currently a neglected back alley behind the museum.
The original building, designed by Mario Botta in 1995, will be dwarfed by the addition, which rises some 50 feet above it with a sculpted roof structure that will be a distinct presence on the San Francisco skyline. Says Snøhetta principal Craig Dykers, “Our design for SFMOMA responds to the unique demands of this site, as well as the physical and urban terrain of San Francisco.”
The $480-million project will help keep up with the museum’s rapidly growing collection, which has grown two-fold since it moved to its present home near Yerba Buena Gardens. At street level, the glassed-in wing will allow passersby to look into the entryway as well as the art on display in the galleries within. The increased exhibition space will be complimented by augmented educational programming, and a new fire house—a replacement for one displaced by the construction—will be built just around the corner.