Architecture People & Places


Snøhetta - SFMOMA Expansion in San Francisco

SFMOMA has released the design by Snøhetta for an 11-story expansion to the SFMOMA building in San Francisco, California. Image: Courtesy Snøhetta

The SFMOMA art museum has released some renderings and information about the museum's planned 235,000-square-foot (22,000-square-meter) expansion, set for completion in 2016. Designed by Olso, Norway-based Snøhetta, the thin 11-story addition, which stretches from Howard to Minna Streets, will stand just behind Mario Botta's original Postmodern building for the museum.

Sculpture terrace and vertical garden between the new SFMOMA addition and the garage (left). Image: Snøhetta/ MIR

Renderings show that the new building will replace an existing rear wing of the Botta building, as well as two smaller structures along Howard Street.

Aerial view of the SFMOMA expansion, standing between the Botta building (upper right) and the museum's garage (lower left). Image: Courtesy Snøhetta

In this position, the addition will also connect by skybridge to the rooftop sculpture garden of the adjacent SFMOMA parking structure on Minna Street. The narrow space between these two buildings will serve as an open air sculpture plaza with a vertical garden. This space will transition into a pedestrian promenade that extends to Howard Street, helping to weave the museum into the neighborhood fabric on the long, fragmented block that the museum occupies.

The fourth-floor "white box" space. Image: Snøhetta/ MIR

Three of the new building's levels will be devoted to museum support space, while the remaining seven will provide traditional and new-media galleries and other public spaces. One of the unconventional spaces is the double-height "white box" space on the fourth floor. This room will be equipped with advanced audio-visual systems to support SFMOMA's live art program.

A seventh-floor outdoor terrace will provide city views and outdoor display space, while both the seventh and eighth floors will contain new conservation studios.

With sustainability measures that seek to reduce energy costs, water use, and wastewater generation, the building is expected to target LEED Gold certification upon its completion.

A large glass-walled ground-level gallery on Howard Street will house Richard Serra's enormous walk-in spiral sculpture called Sequence. Image: Snøhetta/ MIR

Project Credits
  • Architect: Snøhetta, Oslo, Norway
  • Local Architect: EHDD Architecture
  • Client: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
  • Cost:  $550 Million (including construction and endowment)

The new SFMOMA expansion will stand behind Mario Botta's original SFMOMA building. Image: Courtesy Snøhetta

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