In June 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 30,000 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 an Indoor Town Square, 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 north building with the 1905 Building
In April 2019, the museum announced that artist Olafur Eliasson and architect Sebastian Behmann, founding partners of Studio Other Spaces, have proposed a breathtaking work of art to cover the Indoor Town Square. Entitled Common sky, the design is inspired by the weather of Buffalo and the museum’s lush park surroundings.
In addition, Design Development is now nearing completion, and OMA has refined the design for the freestanding north building, consolidating gallery spaces to create a more compact and efficient footprint. Plans will become highly detailed during the subsequent Construction Documents phase. Construction is expected to begin toward the end of 2019.