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. All gifts received through the end of 2018, up to $10 million, will be matched dollar-for-dollar. We invite you to become part of the next chapter of the Albright-Knox’s history by making your gift to AK360.
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. The final plans for the expansion will emerge over the next several months during the design development phase of the project as budget and cost estimates come into alignment. As part of its announcement, the museum unveiled preliminary images showing how the project might evolve as the Albright-Knox and OMA continue to work on the design. Design development will continue through the end of 2018, coinciding with the completion of the approvals process. Construction is likely to begin in autumn 2019, with the grand opening of the new Buffalo AKG Art Museum expected in fall 2021.