The Albright-Knox Art Gallery has announced that it is moving forward with developing a Master Plan for Growth. In doing so, the gallery is entering into a partnership with the international architecture, landscape, and interiors collaborative SnØhetta* (led by Founding Partner Craig Dykers). In coming months the focus will be to identify short-term space needs, while determining whether an expansion is in the gallery's future. "Space needs are one of the most critical issues facing the Gallery today," said Leslie Zemsky, President of the Board of Directors of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. "Our Collection has grown significantly since our last expansion in 1962, and we urgently need to examine how our existing space is used to display, store, and conserve the Collection, and to optimize our facilities to provide an enhanced experience for our visitors," Zemsky added.
The idea of a gallery expansion has been floated before, fueled by architectural renderings showing both on and off-campus visions (see here
). Operational logistics would make an off-site expansion a heavy lift, while usable space on the existing campus is extremely limited. Louis P. Ciminelli, Board Member and Chair of the Gallery's Long-range Space Planning Committee, noted, "We need to explore what an expansion of our facilities might look like in the future. Given the history of our iconic buildings, and their setting within the historic landscape of the Olmsted Park, we are pleased to be working with a team of architects that has a strong reputation for creating a fluid dialogue between landscape and architecture. SnØhetta will bring its expertise in this arena to the project, and we anticipate that our partnership will generate great things for the Albright-Knox and for the City of Buffalo. As our process moves along, we look forward to sharing the vision with our friends and cultural partners in the neighborhood."
*SnØhetta is an award-winning architecture, landscape, and interiors collaborative formed in Oslo, Norway, in 1989. In 2004, SnØhetta established an office in Manhattan. The collaborative has executed acclaimed projects internationally, including the Oslo Opera House, Norway; the Wolfe Center for the Arts, Bowling Green, Ohio; the expansion of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California; the redesign of Times Square, New York; and Ryerson University Student Learning Centre, Toronto, Canada.