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PHILADELPHIA ​MUSEUM OF ART

RENOVATION AND EXPANSION 

WITH

Frank Gehry Partners LLp., Los Angeles

POSITION

Architect

CLIENT

Philadelphia Museum of Art

SCOPE

Historical Conservation

New Contemporary Art Gallery

New Circulation and Interior Design 

LOCATION

Philadelphia ​

DESCRIPTION

Frank Gehry, the world’s most exuberant formalist architect undertook one of the most expensive, yet difficult to notice, museum expansions in recent history.  The museum’s usable exhibition space was expanded by a third, with a new subterranean gallery for contemporary art below the famous “Rocky Balboa” plaza. Additionally, the museum’s exhibition program was completely rethought and reorganized as though it were being designed from scratch. 
The design intended to transform the derelict plaza as the main focal point of the renovation and expansion. During the day, the plaza provides natural illumination to a dramatic contemporary gallery below. At night the interior gallery lighting provides a spectacularly lit plaza floor, emphasizing the heroic classical façade.