The sixth-oldest public art museum in the United States has partnered with architecture firm OMA for the expansion and renovation of the museum's historic campus in Buffalo, N.Y. The Albright-Knox Art Gallery currently houses a renowned collection of 8,000 modern and contemporary works with space for only 200-300 of those pieces. The project, called, "AK360" will double the number of artworks that can be displayed by adding exhibition space, dining areas, room for social activities, and complementary educational resources for the public.
The $80 million project will be the third time that the museum has grown since it was founded in 1862, then known as The Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, and the institution's first expansion in over half a century. Upgrades will be made to the entirety of the campus, which is situated between Frederick Law Olmsted's Delaware Park and the Elmwood Avenue Cultural District.
Tom Hyde, Albright-Knox board president, says they chose OMA because the award-winning firm has "demonstrated their creative approaches to building in complex sites, most recently at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, which also connects parkland and urban landscape.” This will be their first art museum project in the United States, and OMA principal and design architect Shohei Shigematsu, AIA, plans to spend the next year working with the museum to ensure that "AK360" reflects the desires of the community.