LOUISVILLE, KY.- During its Annual Meeting, the Speed Art Museum announced the selection of eight architectural firms as the finalists to design its future building expansion.
The Speeds director, Charles L. Venable, noted Enhancing the Speeds architectural complex and its grounds is a cornerstone of the museums strategic plan that was developed following extensive study over the past decade. It is believed that architectural and programmatic improvements will allow the Speed to greatly enhance the museum experience of its visitors. The plan calls for additional gallery, exhibition, educational, and social space to be added to the current facility, along with outdoor enhancements for the display of art and entertaining. Engaging the many students from the University of Louisville who traverse the museum grounds on a daily basis is a key goal of this vision, stated Dr. Venable.
The Board of Governors appointed an Architect Selection Committee composed of Board Chairman, Richard H.C. Clay, Building Committee chair Owsley Brown II, The Reverend Alfred Shands, Ann Wells, and Dr. Venable. Based on extensive research done by the former director, staff and Board members, the Selection Committee narrowed the list of potential architects from over 100 to 30 and then to 15 before identifying eight to formally interview.
In alphabetical order the eight firms selected are:
Bernard Tschumi Architects (www.tschumi.com) with offices in New York and Paris. Noted recent project is the New Acropolis Museum in Athens, Greece.
Bjarke Ingels Group (www.big.dk) in Copenhagen, Denmark. Noted current project is the Helsingor Maritime Museum in Denmark, which will transform an old dry dock into a modern-day museum.
Gluckman Mayner Architects (www.gluckmanmayner.com) of New York. Noted for its transformation of many older museum buildings into modern spaces and the Mori Arts Center in Tokyo with its distinct use of glass creating transparency.
Henning Larsen Architects (www.hlt.dk) from Copenhagen, Denmark. Noted for its addition to the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek Museum and the new Opera in Copenhagen, considered one of the most modern opera houses in the world.
SANAA (www.sanaa.co.jp) whose office is in Tokyo. Noted for its use of structural glass in the recent expansion at the Toledo Museum of Art and its design for the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York.
Snøhetta AS (www.snoarc.no) with offices in New York and Oslo, Norway. Noted for its design for the new Oslo Opera House that marries the look of one of Norways icebergs and the rich tradition of timber interiors.
Studio Gang Architects (www.studiogang.net) from Chicago and Brooklyn. Noted for the curvaceous high-rise known as Aqua and the SOS Childrens Village in Chicago, which combines form and function for an economy of space.
wHY Architecture (www.why-architecture.com) in Los Angeles. Noted for the new Grand Rapids Art Museum in Michigan, which is the only museum in the world to be awarded a LEED Gold certification for its Green environmental impact and architectural elegance.
In the coming months, the Architect Selection Committee will continue to visit buildings relevant to the Speeds future expansion and discuss its vision with the architects in more detail. Through this process, the Selection Committee will narrow the search to a single architectural firm the name of which is expected to be announced early next year.
Architect Selection Committee Chair, Owsley Brown II remarked, The selection committee is very energized by the deep experience and creative talent each of the firms used to explore an array of good options for the Speed. Some of the most ingenuous could not only solve current problems, but open the museum as well to be of much greater service to the general public and to all at the University of Louisville.
A national leader in arts education, serving over 30,000 children each year, the Speed Art Museum has repeatedly been voted Kentuckys best museum and is considered one of the top ten sites each Kentuckian should visit. The Speed honors its mission to bring great art to our communities through its distinguished collections and as the Commonwealths number one venue for international art exhibitions.
Rated one of the top ten audio guides in the country by MSNBC.COM, Passport to the Speed, offers insight into selected works in the collection, and is available for free at the Museums Welcome Center. The Speed Art Museum: Highlights from the Collection, a new companion guide to the Speeds distinguished collection is now available.