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Albright-Knox Art Gallery to work with leading international architecture firm to develop master plan for growth
Visitors view a light sculpture by artist Dan Flavin, part of the art exhibition "Wish You Were Here: The Buffalo Avant-garde in the 1970s" at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, N.Y. AP Photo/David Duprey.

BUFFALO, NY.- The Albright-Knox Art Gallery announced that it will partner with the international architecture, landscape, and interiors collaborative SnØhetta to develop a Master Plan for Growth at the Gallery’s campus in Buffalo, New York. SnØhetta will work with the Gallery over the coming months to develop a comprehensive plan that will outline a vision for the future, addressing pressing short-term space needs and setting the course for long-term ambitions, which might possibly include an expansion.

“It has been an honor to have participated in imagining what the future could be for the Albright-Knox. With the extraordinarily talented firm of SnØhetta engaged in this significant process, I am quite certain that the vision and solutions will be inspired and inspiring. I look forward to seeing the next great chapter of the Albright-Knox as it unfolds,” said Director Louis Grachos.

“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.

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.”

The SnØhetta team that will work with the Albright-Knox Art Gallery will be led by Founding Partner Craig Dykers, an award-winning architect. Speaking about the project, Dykers said, “As important as the international reputation of the Albright-Knox Collection is, it has had an even greater impact on the diverse groups of people who have lived in and around Buffalo for many generations. For us, this is an exciting character to work with, one that is profoundly local yet constantly connecting with the wider world of national and international culture.” The additional team members working on the project are Director of Projects Alan Gordon, Director of Design Vanessa Kassabian, Project Manager Nick Anderson, Project Designer Laia Celma, Project Landscape Architect Maura Rockcastle, and Project Interior-Designer Anne-Rachel Schiffmann.

SnØhetta will engage the expertise of brightspot strategy to collaborate on the project. Led by Director Elliot Felix, brightspot will develop a comprehensive strategy to address critical space programming needs at the Gallery to create better visitor experiences and a more productive work environment. Felix will be assisted by Senior Strategist Amanda Kross and Strategist Yen Chiang.

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.

In 2012, Landmark Status for Historic Preservation was awarded to the Oslo Opera House. SnØhetta received a Canadian Architect Award for Excellence for the Ryerson University Student Learning Centre in 2011. The collaborative has won numerous additional awards internationally, including the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture in 2012.

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