Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego Expansion

2014-2022| La Jolla CA

Client Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
Architect Selldorf Architects
Associate Architect LPA,Inc
Structure Engineer Guy Nordenson and Associates
Associate Structural Engineer Simpson Gumpertz & Heger

Composed of three distinct architectural additions, including buildings by Irving Gill and Venturi Scott Brown, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego is quadrupling its gallery space to 40,000sf in the latest addition and renovation designed by Selldorf Architects. In addition to the new gallery space, the design features several large gallery skylights, a new café, below-ground parking, and a glass-paneled entrance on Prospect Street. A series of cascading volumes and outdoor terraces, the new buildings are harmonious with the topography of the rocky coastal landscape as well as the existing heterogeneous additions to the museum.

Exposed at the exterior and inside at the gallery ceiling, the new building’s concrete structure is carefully detailed in accordance with its architectural expression. The mechanical systems allow air to be supplied through the floor slabs, leaving the minimal precast roof structure exposed in the gallery spaces. To accommodate large, column-free gallery spaces at the ground floor, the structure spans up to 48ft in some locations. The building renovation has also prompted a seismic upgrade to the existing structure, requiring thoughtful coordination between the new architecture and the existing museum complex.