CLEVELAND, OHIO – The Cleveland Museum of Art has unveiled a major expansion and renovation design by architect Rafael Vinoly. The dynamic design features a soaring glass canopy that unifies the museum’s campus with vibrant, light filled spaces. The design for the building project, estimated at $225 million, was presented in Cleveland in early February as part of an ongoing series of public forums. The project is targeted for groundbreaking in 2004.
Vinoly’s design creates an architectural setting on par with the Cleveland Museum of Art’s extraordinary collection of objects spanning 6,000 years. It increases the museum’s size by 43 percent and employs innovative uses of glass. The expanded galleries will allow a greater percentage of the collection to be on view and provide larger open spaces to feature the museum’s growing collection of contemporary art.
Over the last 50 years, the Cleveland Museum of Art built three additions to its original 1916 Beaux Arts facility to accommodate its growing audience, programming and collection. The anchors of the new museum campus are the original 1916 building and a 1971 addition.
Vinoly’s design emphasizes the original axis of the museum growing from the heart of the original 1916 classic marble building. The two new curving wings to the east and west of the 1916 building restore the building’s symmetry and feature translucent glass that makes an elegant transition from the horizontal granite strips of the Breuer addition. The reorientation of the building complex connects it to the surrounding Rockefeller Park, providing spectacular views.
The 1958 and 1983 building additions will be removed to allow for more cohesive circulation. The full north façade of the 1916 building will be revealed for the first time in more than 40 years.
Joining the components of the museum complex will be a cantilevered glass canopy forming a 38,000-square-foot courtyard, which will be the starting point for visitor paths through the museum. The courtyard will also house large-scale sculpture and provide year-round space for civic and museum activities.
The new design provides almost 40,000 square feet of additional gallery space, including new special exhibition space and fully dedicated galleries for all of the museum’s collection areas. The entire Breuer special exhibitions space will be dedicated in the future plan to a new Life-Long Learning Center, which will provide hands-on contextual learning oriented to families. A new, larger special exhibitions facility will accommodate larger international exhibitions. A new restaurant, renovated and restored state-of-the-art auditorium, expanded library and underground parking add to the enhanced visitor experience.
Rafael Vinoly Architects is an internationally recognized architectural firm with offices in New York, London and Buenos Aires.
Past projects by Vinoly include the Tokyo International Forum; Princeton University’s Palmer Memorial Stadium; Samsung Cultural and Education Center, Seoul; and The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Philadelphia. Among the current projects are the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Pittsburgh; the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center; the Frederick P. Rose Hall, the new home of Jazz at Lincoln Center, New York, and the newly awarded renovation project for the John F. Kennedy Memorial Center for the Performing arts, Washington, DC. Museum projects include the Queens Museum in New York, the Fortabat Museum in Buenos Aires, the Tampa Museum of Art and Duke University’s Nasher Museum of Art.