Museum Chooses Eight Firms as Finalists for Expansion Design

by ekramer on October 3, 2008

The Speed Art Museum has selected eight architectural firms as finalists to design an expansion of its home. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer has more.

The list* includes firms from Chicago, New York, Copenhagen, Oslo and Tokyo. The museum will charge one of them with designing an addition containing exhibition space and room for educational activities.

By early next year, the museum will choose the finalist, who will have to get to know Louisville, says the Speed Museum’s director Charles Venable.

“Before we ask them to draw one line on a piece of paper, we really want them to come to Louisville and spend a lot of time, talking to us about the city, about the site, about this community, about the dreams and aspirations of this institution — and also what makes the perfect visitor experience of a museum,” Venable says.

He says the finalists were chosen because of their experiences on similar projects.

“We very much wanted architects who were capable of some how combining a new bit of architecture to an old piece of architecture, taking a series of older buildings and doing something new and interesting, but not needing to have a blank slate, because we don’t have a blank slate,” he says.

Venable says the addition should be built by 2012.

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Bernard Tschumi Architects with offices in New York and Paris. Noted recent project is the New Acropolis Museum in Athens, Greece.

Bjarke Ingels Group in Copenhagen, Denmark. Noted current project is the Helsingor Maritime Museum in Denmark, which will transform an old dry dock into a modern-day museum. 

Gluckman Mayner Architects of New York. Noted for its transformation of many older museum buildings into modern spaces and the Mori Arts Center in Tokyo with its distinct use of glass creating transparency. 

Henning Larsen Architects from Copenhagen, Denmark.  Noted for its addition to the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek Museum and the new Opera in Copenhagen, considered one of the most modern opera houses in the world.

SANAA whose office is in Tokyo. Noted for its use of structural glass in the recent expansion at the Toledo Museum of Art and its design for the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York. 

Snøhetta AS with offices in New York and Oslo, Norway. Noted for its design for the new Oslo Opera House that marries the look of one of Norway’s icebergs and the rich tradition of timber interiors. 

Studio Gang Architects from Chicago and Brooklyn. Noted for the curvaceous high-rise known as “Aqua” and the SOS Children’s Village in Chicago, which combines form and function for an economy of space.

wHY Architecture in Los Angeles. Noted for the new Grand Rapids Art Museum in Michigan, which is the only museum in the world to be awarded a LEED Gold certification for its “Green” environmental impact and architectural elegance.

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