FL Art Museum Announces Renovation, Expansion


The Tampa Museum of Art Foundation recently announced plans for a nearly $70 million renovation and expansion at its downtown Tampa campus.

First announced by the TMA Board of Trustees in September, nearly a year after celebrating its 100th anniversary, the news comes as the museum looks to continuing its educational programs, expanding its exhibits and housing art assets to accommodate growing community partnerships and allow more hands-on, up-close experiences for students and adults.

TMA has selected Weiss/Manfredi to design the project.

Phase One: Renovation

Outlined in the museum’s Centennial Renovation and Expansion plans, Phase 1 of the project will renovate the TMA’s existing building to transform underused storage rooms into an education center and new galleries. The renovated space will better allow for exhibitions, education programs, events and performances, TMA reports.

In the education center specifically, renovations will involve expanding the space from 1,400 square feet to more than 12,000 square feet. The project will involve building a new education wing with four classrooms, a lobby, orientation spaces and a secure entrance.

The renovations will allow TMA to grow its current number of annual students (6,000) to 24,000.

Other areas of the museum witnessing an expansion include its exhibition and collection space, which will grow from 14,800 square feet to more than 43,000 square feet. In carrying out renovations, the space will gain five additional galleries, a renovated sculpture gallery and a flexible multimedia gallery space.

The ground floor sculpture galley is also slated to receive enhancements. The lobby of the existing building will be remodeled into a sculpture atrium, while visitors arriving from Curtis Hixon Park and the Riverwalk will also be able to see sculptures on exhibition by walking along the museum’s new outdoor terrace and pathways.

Other renovations include remodeling a portion of TMA’s existing art storage and support areas into four new galleries. The planned changes are expected to increase the museum’s exhibition space from 21% to 36% of its total area.

On the west side of the museum’s new sculpture atrium, plans include an additional expansion where TMA intends to open a store to “create an art-filled, inspiring experience to reinforce the museum’s mission.”

Through the first phase of the project, the museum will create 20,000 additional square feet of exhibition space within its existing building. TMA reports of that space, 10,000 square feet will be dedicated to year-round artwork exhibitions by Black and African American, Latin American and women artists in an effort to increase its commitment to representing cultural, racial, ethnic and gender diversity.

“Once renovations conclude, the museum expects to grow its specific commitment to showcasing Black and African American artists by five times its existing exhibition space, guaranteeing over 3,000 square feet of dedicated gallery space year-round,” wrote TMA.

In total, the renovations are expected to cost $12 million and will cover 70,000 square feet. The renovated areas of the museum are slated to open in late 2022.

Phase 2: Expansion

In the project’s second phase, which is expected to break ground in late 2022, the museum will see the construction of a new four-story expansion connected to the existing building and augment downtown Tampa’s public riverfront.

The new building will encompass 55,000 square feet and is expected to cost $68 million.

Surrounding the site, the museum has planned a series of new riverfront public terraces and landscapes. In addition to the new plaza, the outdoor space will also feature large and small dog parks, sloped walkways and an outdoor amphitheater.

Inside the new nearly 12,000-square-foot crystalline building, TMA reports that the lobby will be accessible from Curtis Hixon Park and Gasparilla Plaza and will also include a store and café. With ceilings planned to stretch upwards of 18-feet-high, the building will feature artworks inside.

Other features in the building include a 150-seat auditorium that overlooks the Hillsborough River. The space is designed to feature acoustic wood panels and various accommodating equipment for events and multimedia performances.

In a separate part of the building, the expansion will house another large event space featuring a panoramic view of downtown Tampa, Hillsborough River and Straz Center. This space will feature 30-foot-tall ceilings that can accommodate a seated dinner for 500 people and a dance floor.

Looking to the second floor of the building, the TMA has outlined an art lounge and sculpture terrace. On the fourth floor, the building is slated to feature a second terrace that includes a bar and demonstration kitchen for various programs and additional events.

In total, the expansion will triple the amount of space available for special event rentals to sustain the Museum’s mission and growing popularity.

“The new expansion significantly increases the Museum’s special events and food services capacity,” wrote TMA. “The new lobby will accommodate different types of events, which can spill out to the expanded terrace and engage the park. The design sets a waterfront café with outdoor seating on the western front of the lobby, easily accessible from the Riverwalk.”

The project is slated for competition in 2024.


Tagged categories: Color + Design; Commercial / Architectural; Commercial Construction; Design; Design build; Expansion; Maintenance + Renovation; Maintenance programs; Museums; Museums; NA; North America; Projects - Commercial; Public spaces; Renovation

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