SOM and Selldorf Architects Appointed to Revitalize Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum
The Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden has selected Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and Selldorf Architects to jointly develop the modernization plan for the Hirshhorn Museum’s interior and plaza. As the first renovation in the last fifty years, the museum plans to upgrade its galleries and public spaces in order to fit the contemporary requirements of a public museum of modern art. It also represents a response to the increased attendance during the past five years. The federal contract was awarded following a competitive process by Smithsonian Facilities in consultation with the Hirshhorn. The concept design, to be submitted in 2023, will be subject to a public consultation process.
Ensuring that the building is better able to accommodate the museum’s ambitious programs while serving a larger and more diverse audience, is of critical importance. And we need to be able to do so while making the building more sustainable. – Chris Cooper, FAIA, partner at SOM, and Annabelle Selldorf, FAIA, principal at Selldorf Architects, in a joint statement.
Part of the Smithsonian, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is the US national museum of modern and contemporary art. Located prominently on the National Mall in Washington, DC, the museum holds one of the most important collections of postwar American and European art in the world. In addition to modernizing and expanding the exhibition spaces, the renovation project also aims to address the aging infrastructure of the museum, including fine art storage spaces, vertical transportation, and stormwater management.
SOM and RMC to Redesign the Visitor Experience at the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt
The appointment of SOM | Selldorf marks the onset of the final chapter of successive projects for the revitalization of the Hirshhorn campus. The three-phase upgrade began with the building façade repair. The project, which replaces the museum roof and pre-cast panels to improve thermal performance, is expected to be completed by the end of this year. The renovation continued with the redesign of the Sculpture Garden, led by artist-architect Hiroshi Sugimoto. This phase will begin in spring 2023.
The redesign of the Sculpture Garden will increase the visibility of the Hirshhorn. It will also introduce three distinct showcases for modern sculpture, time-based and performance art, and large-scale commissions. Sugimoto’s plan also reopens the underground passage designed by Bunshaft to reconnect the National Mall through the Sculpture Garden with the Hirshhorn Museum and plaza.
Earlier this year, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) and Egypt-based Raafat Miller Consulting (RMC) have been selected by OSL for Entertainment Projects to reimagine the visitor experience at one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the historic Pyramids and the Sphinx of Giza, Egypt. Selldorf Architects, an office with a vast experience in museum renovations, have recently revealed the revised plans for the remodeling of the Sainsbury Wing, part of the National Gallery in London, UK.