Snøhetta has unveiled its new expansion and site redesign for the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, Nebraska, developed in partnership with local architects Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture (APMA).
The 3902-m2 (42,000-sf) addition will add light-filled galleries designed to meet demands and explore possibilities of a growing permanent collection, including works from the nationally renowned Phillip G. Schrager Collection of Contemporary Art.
In addition to the new gallery spaces, the architectural team will design more than 1.2 ha (3 acres) of rejuvenated public gardens and outdoor spaces on the museum site, as well as restore and modernize existing office spaces in the Joslyn Memorial building.
The expansion renews Joslyn’s status as Omaha’s premier cultural hub for the visual arts by reorienting the museum grounds around a reimagined public arrival anchored by new community spaces that support the galleries.
Snøhetta and APMA’s design for the new building expands the existing gallery space by more than a third with newly intertwined indoor and outdoor art experiences and a fully reimagined public arrival sequence.
While the existing monolithic buildings are anchored more heavily to the ground, the new building floats above two granite garden walls, with a transparent first floor enclosing a new atrium lobby, museum store, and a multi-function community space.
The expansion building springs from the current glass atrium as a curving, low-slung volume that gradually twists from glass-to-solid, transforming the existing atrium’s horizontal skylights into solid, vertical walls that hold the expansion’s new day-lit galleries on the second floor.
The expansion relocates the front door, from its more hidden location inside the existing glass atrium to the edge of the entrance drive. In inclement weather, museum visitors may take advantage of the new covered drop-off area sheltered from the elements by the gallery’s arched overhead.
The pavilion will be named after Rhonda and Howard Hawks of The Hawks Foundation. The Hawks Foundation provides grants for higher education, social services, Christian organizations, and the arts.