The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art commissioned Snøhetta, EHDD Architects and Arup for the highly anticipated addition to the original Mario Botta-designed building.  

The LEED-Gold structure adds significantly to the museum’s galleries and public spaces, providing the Fisher Collection of contemporary art with a new home and continuing a long-standing collaboration between Arup and Snøhetta.

Arup created the building and galleries’ sensory environment elements, including lighting, acoustics, audiovisual technologies, and building envelope design. Our multidisciplinary approach integrated daylight and electrical lighting design strategies with room acoustic control and flexible audiovisual infrastructure, supporting a variety of curatorial needs. Close connections between room acoustics, audio reproduction, lighting and video display, daylight penetration and façade engineering leave a lasting impression on the new building’s public perception.

Creating a comforting space

Room acoustics and sound isolation strategies were designed to create comfortable acoustic environments and minimise the impact adjacent spaces’ multimedia and performance art exhibitions. The gallery and education spaces are equipped with a range of flexible audiovisual connectivity that leverage the structured cabling backbone, creating a converged AV-IT network.

The museum expansion includes a versatile, double height “white box” space equipped with cutting edge lighting, sound and rigging systems designed to support live performance art, as well as education, gallery and meeting functions.

Arup completed a significant pedestrian model of the renovated museum lobby. The purpose of the modelling work was to help the architect and museum better understand people’s movements within the space, demonstrating that the building meets flow requirements whilst also making recommendations that improved the user experience.

Façade engineering

Arup’s façade engineering services respond to the curatorial needs of the galleries and modify standard systems to meet the architect’s vision and the owner’s budget. Similarly, the daylighting strategies were developed in concert with the façade while considering the needs of the audiovisual display systems.