PHILADELPHIA MUSEUM OF ART
RENOVATION AND EXPANSION
Frank Gehry Partners LLp., Los Angeles
Philadelphia Museum of Art
New Contemporary Art Gallery
New Circulation and Interior Design
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.