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

This expansion quadruples the museum’s gallery space to include 46,400sf of new space in the latest addition and renovation designed by Selldorf Architects. It is composed of three distinct components, including the original building designed by Irving Gill and an addition by Venturi Scott Brown. In addition to the new gallery spaces that include several large skylights, the design features 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 and 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. The mechanical systems supply air 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 included a seismic upgrade to the existing structure, requiring thoughtful coordination between the new architecture and the existing museum complex.