Aerial view looking north, with the new addition straddling space between the existing garage/sculpture roof and the 1995 Botta building. Image courtesy Snøhetta (Click on the image to enlarge in a new window)
There was a press preview yesterday up the SFMOMA rooftop sculpture garden- what might be described as a deeply satisfying teaser- of what's to come as the museum expands. Craig Dykers, partner in our favorite Oslo/New York architectural firm, Snøhetta, gave a presentation, explaining that the days of architects imposing a grand architectural vision was over for them; the proposal was the result of a year of listening. So what should we expect in 2016, aside from that gloriously honed iceberg in the images? One Snøhetta's primary objectives was to better engage the museum with the street and pedestrians. There will be a spectacular new entrance on Howard Street side, currently occupied by the firehouse, and along with re-orienting the existing lobby, a new entrance at the end of Natoma Street lined up with the yet-unbuilt Transbay Transit Center and Second Street. To quote Craig Dykers:
SFMOMA’s expansion will enliven the neighborhood through a generous plan that frees connections between well-known surrounding streets and more hidden urban spaces. The building will encourage people to enjoy the intimate small streets as much as the heavily used thoroughfares of the district. The new building does not push tightly against its property lines; instead it creates new public spaces and pedestrian routes through the neighborhood along with open views of the surrounding streetscape.So just as the current Mario Botta building injected new energy into the neighborhood in mid-1990s, Snøhetta's looking to do the same by rethinking the street-level experience as much as the gallery experience upstairs.
Next up for museum staff and architects are visits to other museums around the world to begin planning the galleries and interiors- we were told to expect another presentation in November.
· SF MOMA Expansion [SF MOMA]
· SFMOMA Coverage [Curbed SF Archives]
· Snøhetta [SnøArc]