Without changing the neoclassical exterior of the iconic Philadelphia Museum of Art, architect Frank Gehry plans to completely remodel and expand the interior with the hopes of conserving its history and improving its function. In celebration of the anticipated renovation, the museum has put his comprehensive design on display via an exhibition of large-scale models, architectural drawings, photographs, renderings and videos.
“There was quite a legacy already there,” said Gehry. “The Philadelphia Museum is one of the most important museums in America. The building is a symbol of Philadelphia, everyone knows it, and what I like about this is you’re going to pass by and you’re not going to know that Frank Gehry was there.”
Best known for his expressive, sculptural forms such as the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, Gehry is approaching this project differently with a focus on the transformation of the interior of the main entrance most notably, the iconic Great Stair Hall. Gehry’s vision includes dramatic improvements to how visitors will enter and move through the Museum, as well as the creation of new space to display more works of art and a new Education Center.
Renderings by Frank Gehry
Gehry’s design is the embodiment of creative stewardship and reflects a deep sympathy for a much beloved architectural landmark. At the same time, his design reflects an understanding of how the facility needs to change in order to serve the needs of visitors and the community.
Rendering by Frank Gehry
Raised in Toronto, Gehry moved with his family to Los Angeles in 1947. He received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Southern California in 1954 and studied city planning at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. His prolific architectural career has spanned more than five decades and he has produced public and private buildings in North America, Europe and Asia. Hallmarks of Gehry’s work include a particular concern that people exist comfortably within the spaces he creates, and an insistence that his buildings address the context and culture of their sites.
The exhibition is on display through Monday, September 1.
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