On June 3, 2013, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) closed its doors for a massive renovation. Now, just shy of three years later, the gorgeous new museum is preparing for its glamorous debut. Although the SFMOMA doesn’t officially open to the public until Saturday, May 14, yesterday Haute Living got a sneak peak of the stunning ten-floor art space. The Chairman and President of the Board of Trustees, Charles Schwab and Robert Fisher, along with Neal Benezra, the Helen and Charles Schwab Director, proudly presented the new museum to a crowd of art enthusiasts. “What an exciting day for this museum,” Schwab said, “please take your time looking around. Why? Because it took us a long time to get here.”
Benezra highlight the three most important features of the new SFMOMA: art, architecture, and accessibility. “We want this museum to the one of the great cultural centers in the world that will engage visitors,” he said. The museum has three entrances (at Minna, Howard, and Third Streets) rather than one and the first two floors are entirely free and open to the public. “We live in an era of sharing,” Schwab said, “this will be a museum for sharing. We’re embracing the spirit of sharing, funded by the community, and made the first and second floor open to all.” Entrance to all floors of museum is completely free to those under the age of 18. Community access and engagement will increase with an average of 55,000 school children (up from 18,000) set to visit the museum annually. Teachers are also invited to walk the museum floors for free. The $305 million remodel was lead by Craig Dykers and his architectural firm Snøhetta, which was previously known for its design of the National September 11th Museum Pavilion at the World Trade Center in New York City.
The light-filled museum is a maze of artwork: during the closure, the SFMOMA nearly tripled their collection and 1,900 pieces will be on display opening day. Naturally, the exhibition space also increased significantly from 70,000 to 170,000 square feet. The third floor is devoted to photography making the Pritzker Center for Photography the largest gallery and interpretive space in a U.S. art museum that’s dedicated to photos. The Doris and Donald Fisher Collection takes up three floors and features an outstanding collection of postwar and contemporary art. The seventh floor is a gallery reserved for media arts and the third floor has the largest public living wall in the U.S housing more than 19,000 plants. Six outdoor terraces provide space for sculptures and showcase beautiful views of San Francisco’s downtown. No detail has been overlooked, every space is perfectly curated. Even the new bathrooms have been given an art-inspired makeover. Each floor’s bathroom is painted a different vibrant color.
Take a look inside the new SFMOMA in the gallery below.