- Project Name
- Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Expansion
- Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum
- Project Types
- Project Scope
- 50,000 sq. feet
- Shared by
- Madeleine D'Angelo
- Project Status
- On the Boards/In Progress
This project appeared in the March 2021 issue of ARCHITECT.
Ever since its completion in 1995, I.M. Pei’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, a juxtaposition of geometric forms and shimmering glass pyramids along Lake Erie, has been an essential driver for the regional economy. So it’s no surprise that the museum has embarked on a sweeping renovation and expansion of the 143,000-square-foot project. In January 2020, after securing a neighboring, 1-acre plot of land from the city of Cleveland, the institution submitted an RFQ to 22 leading architects around the world, then selected a shortlist of eight firms. This past December, the Rock Hall chose the winning team, led by New York’s Practice for Architecture and Urbanism.
The winning design, a 50,000-square-foot triangular building clad in galvanized steel (a nod to Cleveland’s industrial history), contains additional exhibition, events, and education spaces. The juxtaposition of the new triangle with Pei’s existing pyramid—from above, he designed the building to appear like a giant turntable—pays homage to the architect while also channeling “some of the irreverence of rock and roll,” says PAU founder and creative director Vishaan Chakrabarti, FAIA. “There’s a kind of beautiful, almost musical tension between the new and the old.”
A plaza at the triangle’s core, landscaped by James Corner Field Operations, softens the steel façade. The plaza also contains a band shell that resembles a “piece of flying concrete,” according to Chakrabarti, adding a kinetic quality and additional performance space to the project.
Construction is scheduled to begin soon after the finalized design is released in early 2022 (Cooper Robertson is responsible for programming and documentation, and the local firm Robert Madison International is the architect of record).
Even as the design evolves, Chakrabarti aims to ensure that it generates “communities of connection” through accessible spaces—from the entry hall to the pathway through the museum— that encourage moments of “positive social friction,” Chakrabarti says. “When I think about a project like the Rock Hall, it’s all about how do you generate spaces of human and cultural connection?”
Project: Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Expansion, Cleveland, Ohio
Client: The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
Design Architect and Project Lead: Practice for Architecture and Urbanism, New York
Architect of Record: Robert Madison International
Landscape Architect/Public Realm: James Corner Field Operations
Programming and Documentation: Cooper Robertson
Size: 50,000 square feet