The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art will hold an official groundbreaking ceremony today for a much-anticipated 10-story addition designed by Snøhetta. On Sunday, June 2nd, the museum will close its doors, and it won't reopen until the expansion is completed in 2016. The new building will more than double SFMOMA's exhibition space, and it will complement the museum's existing Mario Botta-designed facility. Saying goodbye to SFMOMA for three years will be difficult for Bay Area residents, but when it reopens in early 2016, the museum will likely be bigger and better than ever.
The 235,000-square-foot expansion will include seven stories devoted to new art exhibition and programming spaces. But those experiences won’t be limited to paying customers; about 15,000 square feet of the new museum will be open to the public, free of charge. A new terrace level on the seventh floor will provide excellent views of downtown San Francisco.
The new SFMOMA expansion will be an energy-efficient building, and it’s projected to achieve a 15-percent reduction in energy costs, a 30-percent reduction in water use, and a 20-percent reduction in wastewater production. All of those factors combine to put the building on track to achieve LEED Gold certification. One feature in particular that we’ll be looking forward to seeing is a large vertical garden that will hang above the outdoor sculpture garden, which will be the largest vegetated wall in San Francisco when it’s completed.
During the three-year construction period, San Francisco won’t be entirely without modern art, though. The museum has said that it will “go beyond its walls and directly into the community through an array of collaborative and traveling museum exhibitions, site-specific installations, and neighborhood festivals that will unfold throughout the Bay Area.”