the philadelphia museum of art has started work on the next phase of its ongoing masterplan — a transformation and renewal project led by architect frank gehry. supported by a $525 million USD campaign, the ‘core project’ will add 90,000 square feet of public space, including 23,000 square feet of gallery space for american and contemporary art.

frank gehry philadelphia
all images by gehry partners, LLP and KX-L, courtesy of the philadelphia museum of art

 

 

the complete overhaul combines infrastructural improvements with the reorganization of the museum’s circulation routes. frank gehry’s design seeks to greatly improve visitor experience by enhancing access for the community, and providing increased floor area. the philadelphia museum of art will remain open for the duration of the construction period, which will be completed in phases over the next three years.

frank gehry philadelphia
the existing auditorium will be replaced a new public area called ‘the forum’

 

 

the ‘core project’, which is the second phase of the museum’s ongoing masterplan, focuses on the heart of the historic building. the west terrace will be entirely rebuilt, providing greater accessibility, while lenfest hall will also undergo significant renovation. meanwhile, the existing auditorium will be replaced with ‘the forum’, a new public space that will open up circulation and provide visual connections throughout the complex. importantly, new galleries for american and contemporary art will also be added, alongside newly designed meeting rooms and eateries.

frank gehry philadelphia
the space will provide visual connections throughout the complex

 

 

‘I walked through the building and I saw that all you had to do was follow the yellow brick road, so to speak,’ explains frank gehry, whose design seeks to respect the building’s original architectural language and material palette. ‘it was all there, and it showed you what you could do.’ the first results of the project will be seen in 2019, before additional spaces open in stages throughout 2019 and 2020. the final phase of the masterplan will include the construction of a new auditorium, additional galleries, and expanded educational facilities.

frank gehry philadelphia
a new winding stairway from lenfest hall eventually leads to the forum

frank gehry philadelphia
renovations to lenfest hall will allow more natural light through the vestibule of the west entrance

frank gehry philadelphia
the renewal of the vaulted walkway is critical to the construction of future galleries

frank gehry philadelphia
renovations will provide the american galleries will 23,000 square feet of additional gallery space

frank gehry philadelphia
new sightlines will offer views of lenfest hall to help orient visitors

frank gehry philadelphia
new ADA-compliant ramps will update the appearance of the historic entrance

 

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