HOK: salvador dali museum now open
HOK: salvador dali museum now open HOK: salvador dali museum now open
jan 13, 2011

HOK: salvador dali museum now open

‘salvador dali museum’ by HOK in st. petersburg, florida all images courtesy HOK image credit: HOK and moris moreno




the new ‘salvador dali museum‘ by international practice HOK celebrated its grand opening on january 11, 2011, at 11:11 am in st. petersburg, florida. the 68,000 square-foot project hosts the biggest collection of the surrealist painter’s work in the world. conscientious of the art movement which the museum would house, the design process was driven by the nature of surrealist art as well as the local site conditions, such as the hurricanes that threaten florida’s west coast yearly.

elevation image credit: HOK and moris moreno




‘our challenge was to discover how to resolve the technical requirements of the museum and site in a way that expresses the dynamism of the great art movement that he led. it is important that the building speaks to the surreal without being trite,’ said the director of design at HOK’s florida practice, yann weymoth, who also led the project’s design team.

details of triangulated glass panels image credit: HOK and moris moreno




the museum is composed of two contrasting elements: a ‘treasure box’ constructed out of thick unfinished concrete which protects the body of work, and a sculptural glass atrium that supplies natural light to the interior. the first of its kind in the united states, the free-form geodesic addition is structurally robust despite its transparency.

from the waterfront image credit: HOK and moris moreno

(left) view of the atrium from the third storey level (right) glass ceiling image credit: HOK and moris moreno

glass atrium image credit: HOK and moris moreno


influenced by dali’s fascination with spiral forms, the main atrium space features a poured-in-place concrete spiral staircase leading visitors up to the third-floor galleries. an optimal amount of diffused daylight is funneled by seven suspended ‘light cannons’ made out of black plaster.

views of the spiral staircase image credit: HOK and moris moreno

looking up through the center of the spiral staircase image credit: HOK and beck group

staircase under construction image credit: HOK and beck group

raw pour-in-place concrete image credit: HOK and beck group

gallery space image credit: HOK and michael rixon

(left) circulation of gallery space (right) suspended ‘light cannon’ above the art work for natural daylighting image credit: HOK and michael rixon

entrance and plaza image credit: HOK and moris moreno

image credit: HOK and moris moreno

  • I’m just wondering why always use the naturally most in-curvable concrete to do the most curvy things….like the stairs here….doesn’t it look a bit weired?

    Damon says:
  • it’s just unfinished I think, with the finishing material (paint or else) it will look great. Concrete can be cast in many forms and can adapt quite well to organic and natural architecture.

    Matt says:
  • surreal

    titi says:
  • Matt and Damon…

    That remind me someone ^^.

    mak says:
  • Fuksas..eindhoven…??

    Chr!s says:
  • ugly and banal – a bit like dali, i guess

    opt1mum says:
  • How can this silly and insectless spa hotel stand for surrealism? Is this a plot to make surrealists feel the stupid outrage the crustaceous bourgeoisie feels for life, and thus turn the surrealists into crustaceous bourgeoise men who are supposed to have a relaxing meal in a cosy room with a panoramic view hidden inside the building?

    finger accusation says:
  • It’s a nice museum, but it would have been better to see a more Daliesque building…there is a lack of fantasy in the overall design except in the stairs….they should have designed around that dream-like concept…as it should have been!

    mel says:
  • First, prove you’ve a better concept. Next, build it. Third, allow others to lamely criticize it by photographs.

    Get honest, people. Please?

    reality says:
  • Future=Reality

    Hang says:
  • I like it. It’s fun. And Dali, if for nothing else, was all about fun.

    jmac says:
  • Like many of the comments – I agree it seems very bland and not at all dreamlike – doesn’t reflect Dali at all: but on the other hand, the architects probably kept it stripped back and simplistic so it didnt interfere with the contents.
    I love the rock intercepting the corner of the building… more of that type of playful illusion would be good… and Dali would have wanted to cover it in fur or flesh !

    Finlay Cowan says:
  • Missed opportunities:

    1) Making the facade of the building an optical illusion so when approached it appears ‘impossible’ but reveals itself as an illusion when you move towards it.

    2) Interior use of eggs as modules for viewing films…

    3) Dalis use of props… a giant prop against the building on one side.

    4) Or the use of props and canvas to create amorphous shaded seating areas outside.

    5) Interior use of Mae West couches…

    random ideas generator says:
  • genius! being able to combine Cat. 5 Hurricane concerns (to protect the content), available Florida sunshine, and creativity like Salvador Dali. Brilliant architect! wish we had more visionaries like this.

    an american diplomat says:

    QWKDLL says:
  • awww my eyes…my eyes!!! >,< this is the best museum i ever saw in my life!! OMG i feel the soul of Salvador Dali in here GREAT!!!

    Husna says:
  • Compared to the original building, this is a feast. I so want to go and see it in the flesh d;-)

    Jetwax says:
  • some good internal views

    ivan says:
  • the stairs are my opinion the best part of this project

    DI says:
  • Oh God.
    Salvador will throw up for the next decade

    al vvi says:
  • …nice stairs

    Ivan says:

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