SFMoMA has chosen an architect for its new building, according to the LA Times’s Jori Finkel. Neal Benezra is expected to make the official announcement today:
He said the museum’s selection committee was bowled over by Snøhetta’s Norwegian National Opera and Ballet in Oslo (pictured above), as was he. “When I saw it for the first time, it reminded me of Bilbao — it has that kind of impact,” Benezra said. “Not only is it a fantastic concept, but it’s also a model of engagement, with people walking inside and outside and on top of the building. And that is what we need: a building of great imagination and excitement that works on a practical level in a specific urban context.” […]
When Chuck Schwab became chair of the board in 2007, he asked me what we really need to achieve. I said the next step is for us to have more space to display our collection without sacrificing our exhibition program, which had grown to become world-class,” Benezra said. According to Benezra, the permanent collection by that time had 26,000 objects, more than doubling its size since 1995, when the Botta building opened.
The museum estimates today that it will need $250 million on the design and construction side, as well as $230 million to boost the museum’s endowment (currently hovering around $100 million), making for a $480-million capital campaign. Of this sum, Benezra says the museum already has “$250 million securely pledged from board leadership.”
SFMOMA chooses architect for $250-million expansion: Norwegian firm Snøhetta (Culture Monster/LA Times)