An Artful Oasis in Downtown San Francisco
The design set forth two primary objectives for the experience of the expanded museum. First, the experience of the new sculpture garden must be continuous with the main museum, a particular challenge since the rooftop garden location is on an adjacent building that is offset both vertically and horizontally from the museum. Second, the museum experience should embrace the urban context of the City rather than continue as a hermetically sealed interior environment. The 16,000 square foot sculpture garden is designed as an integral part of the sequence of the museum galleries. The project is conceived as an outdoor gallery and a space to experience nature’s beauty. The design is simple and sophisticated with highly crafted, minimalist elements. The garden composition is a response to the sculpture: each piece is provided a backdrop or tethered to the space. Without limiting flexibility or perception of space the design provides a unique setting for each individual work. The rooftop sculpture garden has been preserved and integrated into the SFMOMA expansion.
The garden has become a public space oasis within downtown – continuing to pose the question: what might live in this city here after us? The juxtaposition of two unpredictable forces, art and primal nature, make the project’s ultimate form and expression undetermined on opening day; leaving us as a city of witnesses to its evolution and continued impact.