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About the Project

An aerial photograph of the museum's campus with a rendering of the new building in the top left

For more than a decade the Albright-Knox has explored the possibility of expanding and upgrading its facilities. These enhancements are urgently needed to properly house the museum’s growing collection of modern and contemporary masterworks, mount rotating special exhibitions, and present a dynamic array of complementary educational programs. In 2014, the museum’s Board of Directors unanimously resolved to launch AK360, an ambitious campus development and expansion project.

AK360 is intimately tied to Buffalo’s twenty-first-century renaissance. The name of the project reflects the fact that this will be the third time the museum has grown in the course of its 156-year history, each time at intervals of approximately 60 years (in 1905 with its first permanent home and in 1962 with its last expansion). The name also represents the museum’s response to feedback from the community and its goal to take a 360-degree view of the museum’s growth that goes far beyond operational needs and embraces its unique position in the region and its potential to contribute to Western New York’s ongoing resurgence.

AK360 will more than double the number of works the museum can display at any given time, including adding state-of-the-art space for presenting special exhibitions. The project will also radically enhance the visitor experience at the museum, creating more space for education, dining, and social activities, while better integrating the campus with the landscape of Frederick Law Olmsted’s Delaware Park.

In June 2016, the museum announced its selection of the award-winning firm OMA/Shohei Shigematsu as its architectural design partner for the project. That same month, the AK360 Capital Campaign, the financial cornerstone of AK360, took a giant leap forward with an unprecedented matching challenge made possible by the extraordinary generosity of Jeffrey Gundlach.

What unfolded next is remarkable. Believing that the Albright-Knox and the City of Buffalo are worthy investments and catalyzed by a promise of $42.5 million from Mr. Gundlach if matching funds could be secured by Labor Day, foundations, government entities, corporations, and individuals from across the region rose to the occasion. In just 12 short weeks, the museum raised an unprecedented $103 million toward its $155 million goal. In late 2017, Mr. Gundlach announced a second challenge to build on the success of the first, matching all gifts received through the end of 2018, up to $10 million, dollar-for-dollar. 

AK360 Campus Development and Expansion Project: architectural overview

AK360 Campus Development and Expansion Project: architectural overview

View from second-floor promenade east toward Hoyt Lake

View from second-floor promenade east toward Hoyt Lake

North building, first-floor galleries; artworks by Clyfford Still

North building, first-floor galleries. Artworks by Clyfford Still. All Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Gift of the artist, 1964. © City and County of Denver / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Green plaza in front of 1905 Building

Green plaza in front of 1905 Building

In June of 2018 the museum announced its plan to create a new work of signature architecture on the north end of the museum’s historic campus, which will add more than 25,000 square feet of space for displaying special exhibitions and the museum’s world-renowned art collection. The new building will also incorporate several visitor amenities and is envisioned to have a wraparound promenade that visually connects the interior of the building with the surrounding Frederick Law Olmsted landscape.

In addition to adding to Buffalo’s remarkable architectural legacy, the museum aspires to improve its campus by:

  • Building an underground parking structure and transforming the surface parking lot into a vibrant green landscape and gathering place, a green plaza
  • Opening a route through the museum from Elmwood Avenue to Olmsted’s Delaware Park, adding a new point of entry and exit on the east façade of the museum’s 1962 Building
  • Covering the 1962 Building’s open-air Sculpture Garden to create a new space for year-round civic engagement, open free of charge to the community during museum and program hours
  • Creating a new education wing in the lower level of the 1962 Building
  • Constructing a signature scenic bridge that connects the new building with the 1905 Building

As part of its 2018 announcement, the museum unveiled preliminary images showing how the project might evolve as the Albright-Knox and OMA continue to work on the design. The final plans for the expansion will emerge during the design development phase of the project as budget and cost estimates come into alignment. Construction is likely to begin in late 2019, with the grand opening of the new Buffalo AKG Art Museum expected in late 2021.

  • A photograph of people sitting around a large square table with more people standing in the background

    AK360 Project Timeline

    Trace the evolution of the museum's campus development project from 2012 to the present.

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  • A rendering of the 1905 Building with a green lawn filled with people in front of it

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