Construction is slated to begin this summer on the new 235,000-square-foot addition to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). Designed by Oslo-based Snøhetta—working with local firm EHDD—the eight-story addition will rise 50 feet above the over the existing Mario Botta-designed museum building, which was completed in 1995, and double the size of the institution's gallery and education spaces. Since the design was unveiled in 2011, the structure's thin, articulated form (which stretches the width of the city block) and white exterior cladding have been some of the most visible elements of the design, but new renderings released today reveal details about some of the new spaces that will be on offer when the addition opens in 2016.
The addition will include a ground-floor gallery, enclosed by 25-foot-high glass walls, that will be open to the public with no admission fee. The gallery will have space for large-scale installations and a stepped seating area for visitors. A versatile double-height space on the fourth floor, dubbed the "white box," will provide space for live performances and can double as a venue for the institution's expanding list of educational programming. The institution hopes to triple the number of schoolchildren who visit the museum annually from 18,000 to 55,000, and to accommodate this growth, there are planned improvements to the museum's existing theater, as well as classroom spaces. The addition will also house new conservation studios on the seventh and eighth levels.
The new renderings also offer further details about the addition's third-floor sculpture terrace, which will extend from Howard to Minna Streets, and will be flanked by a vertical garden populated by native plant species and irrigated by a combination of rain and wastewater. A second new terrace on the seventh floor will offer views of downtown San Francisco. The addition is targeting LEED Gold certification, with a projected 15-percent reduction in energy costs, 30-percent reduction in water-use, and 20-percent reduction in wastewater.