San Francisco Museum of Modern Art closing for expansion

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is working to make its collection more accessible to members of the public, but art lovers throughout San Francisco are going to have to wait a few years to enjoy it.

SFMOMA announced Tuesday that it will shut its doors in June 2013 to make way for a major expansion project expected to be completed in early 2016.

The expansion will be designed by the architecture firm Snøhetta and is projected to cost approximately $555 million. It will run along the rear of the existing building and will feature a two-story gallery with glass enclosed on three sides on Howard Street, a new façade and entryway on the east side of the building, several outdoor terraces, sculpture gardens and pedestrian walkways beside the building. Additionally, there will be an 18-foot wide promenade that will provide more public spaces.

All of the museum’s programs and exhibitions will be moved off-site during the three-year construction period. In the interim, the art will be displayed at traveling museum exhibitions, outdoor commissions and neighborhood festivals throughout the Bay Area.

SFMOMA hopes the addition of free galleries on the ground level and new entrances in every direction will help engage the public.

Discussions about a possible expansion began in 2009 in order to accommodate the museum’s growing audiences and increased collection.

ccopeland@sfexaminer.com

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