Milwaukee Art Museum plans expansion

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 10, 2014 at 5:06 pm •  Published: April 10, 2014

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Milwaukee Art Museum, known for its bold expansion designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava 13 years ago, is planning another expansion along Lake Michigan.

When finished, the $25 million project will give the museum 17,000 square feet more space and renovate two of its older buildings, including the War Memorial Center designed by modernist architect Eero Saarinen, whose works include the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.

Milwaukee architect Jim Shields, of HGA Architects and Engineers, came up with something respectful and mindful of both Saarinen's and Calatrava's designs, said Dan Keegan, director of the Milwaukee Art Museum.

"We realized the goal here in the design of this building is not to try to compete with (the Saarinen building) and similarly the goal of this addition was not to try to replicate what is going (with the Calatrava designed building)," Keegan said.

The addition will be light colored and glassy, like the Calatrava building with its glass ceiling and moveable sunscreen, which opened in 2001 as Calatrava's first completed project in the United States. The addition will also have a cantilevered aspect, like Saarinen's building.

The extra space allows more of its 30,000 works to be on view, Keegan said. Currently, only 2,000 to 3,000 pieces can be viewed at any given time in its 345,000 square feet. The addition will also allow visitors to make a circular path around the permanent collection for the first time and allow a lakeside entrance.