The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Sunday, September 21, 2014


SFMOMA unveils new grand stair design: Open, expansive atrium looks to museum's future
SFMOMA’s new Sn°hetta-designed stair (view from Third Street entrance) shown here with previous atrium art installation by Sol LeWitt (inaugural art installation for 2016 reopening to be announced); rendering by Steelblue.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art unveiled the Sn°hetta-designed grand stair that will greet visitors in the museum's existing Haas Atrium and invite them into the heart of its new 235,000-square-foot building expansion, currently under construction and slated for completion in early 2016.

Embracing architect Mario Botta's original atrium design, the new stair will enhance the space for the display of art and allow a more direct experience of natural light streaming down from the oculus, which will be visible as a complete circle for the first time. The stair will also serve as a key bridge between the existing and new parts of the building, integrating them into a seamless whole.

Centered below the oculus and completely open to the atrium, the Sn°hetta-designed stair will create an expansive, flowing entry point that will welcome visitors up into the Art Court—a new nexus for visitor orientation located on the second floor.

A central goal of the expansion’s overall design is to create additional entrances and access points into the museum. The Art Court will serve as the admissions hub for visitors coming through both the existing entrance on Third Street and a new major entrance on Howard Street that will beckon visitors into the building through a large glass-walled gallery. These three admission-free, art-filled areas for public gathering—the atrium, Art Court, and Howard Street gallery—will transform the ground-floor experience of the expanded SFMOMA and weave the museum more deeply into neighborhood life.

“With its beautiful floating geometry and open feel, Sn°hetta’s stair signals a new direction that is respectful of the existing architecture yet very forward-looking,” says SFMOMA Director Neal Benezra. “In many ways, it’s emblematic of the way the overall expansion design marries the visions of two great architects to create an entirely new visitor experience.”

“We have imagined a stair that feels at home in Botta’s atrium, yet introduces the visitor to the language of the new spaces, creating a powerful overlap moment between the two worlds,” says Sn°hetta principal architect Craig Dykers. “It bridges the current and future buildings and extends the existing design vocabulary while foreshadowing that of the new Sn°hetta addition. Most importantly, the new stair serves the next stage in the trajectory of the museum, which is about reaching out, embracing a wider public, and becoming more extroverted.”

Completely New Atrium Experience
The stair spans a single rise, from the ground level of the Haas Atrium to the Art Court on the second floor, signaling that the continuation of one’s journey is directly ahead and keeping views toward that space open and transparent. Rather than following a straight or spiral configuration, Sn°hetta’s variation on a switchback design is inspired by the notion of traversing an incline. This zigzag movement will slow visitors as they climb through a beloved part of the museum and encourage them to pause and take in the beauty of the atrium and the art installed there.

“The stair also creates a wonderful landscape moment that relates to the building’s urban surroundings, evoking San Francisco’s signature terrain of hills and terraces,” says Dykers.

Ascending the initial rise, the visitor will face a monumental artwork on the right side of atrium, then turn 90 degrees at the first landing to face the installation at left—in both cases experiencing a direct, intimate view unobstructed by columns. With one more turn, the stair then straightens out at the top, luring visitors into the Art Court with views of a new large-scale vertical garden located in an outdoor sculpture terrace that spans the entire width of the building.

As visitors descend the stair, two landings will offer sweeping views over the atrium’s social activities and art installations. Loose seating around the base will complete the structure’s asymmetrical geometry, and the deep jog in the stair’s freestanding sculptural form will allow people to stand at its center. The materials used—wood, glass, and terrazzo—are the core palette of the expansion and complement the stone and timber of the existing building.

A Thoughtful Approach
Based on audience-growth estimates and extensive analysis of pedestrian circulation and ticketing functions, Sn°hetta’s stair configuration will ease visitor flow while preserving the overall character of Botta’s original atrium as a dynamic, open plaza. It is projected that the majority of SFMOMA’s visitors will continue to enter the museum from the main entrance on Third Street.

“In 2011, when we first shared with Botta the need to replace the stair in order for the building to function, he met the news with gracious understanding,” says Ruth Berson, SFMOMA deputy director of curatorial affairs, who also serves as staff lead on the museum’s expansion project. “There was never a question about necessity, given anticipated increases in attendance.”

“While grand in dimensions, the stair’s impressive cantilevered construction gives it a very modest footprint,” says Dykers. “And its atypically low walls make it feel smaller than it is, which gives the atrium a new, open, airy, character that looks to SFMOMA’s future.”



Today's News

November 17, 2013

Exhibition at Design Museum in London celebrates British fashion designer Paul Smith

Dallas Museum of Art presents first in-depth study of Edward Hopper's working process

United States court orders Holocaust relic returned to Berlin's Vorderasiatisches Museum

Aurel Scheibler offers overview of Kirchner's prints connected to the Berlin Street Scenes

Unseen artwork by Banksy and Pechstein in Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions sale

Exhibition at Marc Straus spans six decades of artist Charles Hinman's work

103 participants selected for 2014 Whitney Biennial, to take place March 7-May 25, 2014

Dallas Museum of Art acquires two masterworks of African art at Sotheby's auction

Furniture from Universal City Studios Property, Candy and Aaron Spelling to be offered at Bonhams

Perfecting the art of tea at Bonhams with masterpieces from the Mr & Mrs Jimmy Sha Collection

SFMOMA unveils new grand stair design: Open, expansive atrium looks to museum's future

New book documents Washington, D.C.'s increasing role in international politics from 1893 to 1918

Found in Scotland and sold in America: Extremely rare toy bank brings almost $300,000

Lightplay: Gallery 21 in Moscow presents photographs by four contemporary American artists

Phillips announces highlights from the Fall Latin America Auction

Bonhams Hong Kong presents an auction dedicated to Chinese ink paintings

I'd Rather Die On My Feet Than Live on My Knees: Stephanie Hirsch exhibits at Lyons Wier Gallery

Talbot Rice Gallery presents works by Claire Barclay and Mark Dion

Nine-artist exhibition highlights narrative complexity, ambiguity, and disjunction in contemporary art

3D printing 'will change the world'

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Fever mounts as stunning statues found at Alexander The Great-era tomb

2.- Hi-tech underground scans reveal vast complex of monuments at Britain's Stonehenge

3.- National Geographic Museum opens exhibition featuring shark-munching Spinosaurus

4.- First major New York City exhibition to explore Vienna Actionism opens at Hauser & Wirth

5.- Elizabeth I 'airbrushed' for 18th century make-over and a bug is found in Edward VI

6.- Award winning Swedish director Daniel Fridell to direct Kalliope Films' Vincent Van Gogh biopic

7.- Comprehensive retrospective exhibition of Joan Mirˇ's work opens at the Albertina

8.- Synchrotron radiation technology in art conservation: Science to the rescue of art

9.- Mona Kuhn's first solo exhibition in the US opens at Edwynn Houk Gallery

10.- Sotheby's announces details of its sales series for Property from the Collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site