Asian Art Museum | San Francisco, CA

The New Asian Art Museum occupies the site of the former old San Francisco Public Library, a grand classic 1917 historic landmark building on the north east corner of San Francisco's Civic Center. The design of the rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of this structure is by Gae Aulenti (of Musee d'Orsay fame), and the architectural realization of the project is the work of the collaborative team of architects composed of LDA Architects, HOK and Robert Wong.

The design of the new museum maintains the Beaux Arts exterior virtually intact, while inside, the New Asian galleries, public spaces and operational needs are designed retaining the historically significant architectural spaces and details of the interiors. At the base of the Great Hall (once the library's card catalog room), a new glass roof defines an outdoor-like public piazza, providing a central focus to which all visitors can relate from almost any location in the museum.

The new museum is approximately 185,000 sf total -- an increase of 75% compared to the old facilities. New gallery space is 29,000 sf of permanent, state-of-the-art interpretive displays and programs with 8,500 sf of ground floor gallery space dedicated to temporary exhibitions. Other features include three multi-purpose classrooms for educational and cultural programs and an Educational Resource Center for video viewing, audiotape listening and book reading.

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COMPLETED: 2003