The Asian Art Museum is making a $90 million investment to transform the visitor experience of the collection, exhibitions and cultural programs.
Construction will begin in early 2018. The project will begin with the centerpiece: a 13,000-square-foot exhibition Pavilion and Art Terrace added to the east side of the museum’s Civic Center home.
Throughout the expansion the museum will remain open to visitors. The Pavilion is scheduled to open in summer 2019.
The expansion has been designed by architect Kulapat Yantrasast of wHY. It is characterised by a rusticated gray terra-cotta tile exterior and gem-shaped bay windows
The project will allow the museum to present multiple special exhibitions at once. It will also “nurture conversation” between the historic and contemporary art.
More flexible areas will be operated for cultural and community programmes, and it is hoped that visitors will be be connected through the multilayered art encounters.
The development will also materially enhance the pedestrian experience along busy Hyde Street.
“Now is the time to make this investment,” says Akiko Yamazaki, chair of the museum’s dual governing boards, the Asian Art Commission and the Asian Art Museum Foundation. “American life is deeply interwoven with Asia, and the need to understand Asia’s history, values and contemporary culture is more essential than ever. The Asian Art Museum can meet this need through the timeless power of art.”
“We believe that encounters with the incredible diversity and rich narratives of Asian art broaden our worldview and encourage us to look and think beyond the borders of our own life experiences,” says Jay Xu, director and CEO of the Asian Art Museum. “By situating Asian art within a global context, juxtaposing art of the past and present and introducing exciting ideas through exhibitions and programs, the transformed museum will offer visitors fresh, meaningful perspectives on the culture of the Bay Area, world history and current events.”
In 2016, the Museum announced plans to create one of the premier exhibition spaces dedicated to Asian art in the U.S. with the construction of a brand new pavilion.