Albright-Knox Art Gallery Expansion Contest, Buffalo Museum Expansion, AK360 Building NY, Architect

Albright-Knox Art Gallery Expansion Competition

AK Architecture Competition, USA design by OMA, architects, The Netherlands

post updated January 3, 2024

Design: OMA, architects

OMA Wins Competition for Albright-Knox Art Gallery Expansion

The AK360 project marks OMA’s first museum project in the United States.

Albright-Knox Art Gallery Expansion
photograph © Blake Dawson

June 8, 2016

Competition for Albright-Knox Art Gallery Expansion

OMA wins the architecture competition for the $80m expansion of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York. It will be the studio’s first art museum project in the USA, reports the Architectural Record.

The expansion, led by OMA partner Shohei Shigematsu, will mark the third architectural chapter for the gallery, one of the oldest public art museums in the United States. The marble, Beaux-arts building, designed by acclaimed local architect Edward Brodhead Green and completed in 1905, sits across from Frederick Law Olmsted’s Delaware Park. In 1962, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), led by Gordon Bunshaft (best known for the Lever House in New York City) constructed a modern addition.

Since SOM’s expansion more than five decades ago, the gallery’s collection has quadrupled in size to more than 8,000 modern and contemporary works, only about 300 of which can be shown simultaneously.

In 2014, the museum’s board opted to expand and upgrade its facilities. According to the website Buffalo Business First, the museum’s board began with a pool of nearly 50 design firms last fall, which it narrowed to a five-firm shortlist in January that included OMA, wHY Architecture, Snøhetta, BIG, and Allied Works Architecture.

Albright-Knox Art Gallery Building Expansion
photo © Mark Dellas

The Albright-Knox has selected the award-winning architectural firm OMA to expand and refurbish the museum’s historic campus. The project will be OMA’s first art museum in the United States. Read Full Press Release

OMA Principal and Design Architect Shohei Shigematsu will spend the next year in partnership with the museum, and in consultation with the community, to develop a vision for a renewed and revitalized Albright-Knox.



The Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) is a leading international partnership practicing architecture, urbanism, and cultural analysis. With offices in Rotterdam, New York, Beijing, Hong Kong, and Dubai, OMA has created buildings and masterplans around the world that insist on intelligent forms while inventing new possibilities.

OMA New York was established in 2001 to oversee projects in the Americas. Completed work includes the Seattle Central Library; the IIT Campus Center in Chicago; the Prada Epicenter in New York; Milstein Hall for the College of Architecture, Art and Planning at Cornell University; and the Pierre Lassonde Pavilion, a new building for the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec. The Albright-Knox AK360 project will be the firm’s first museum in the United States.

Shohei Shigematsu, a partner at OMA, has led the firm’s diverse portfolio in the Americas for the past decade. Shigematsu’s designs for cultural venues include a new building for the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, a multi-purpose venue for Faena’s Miami Beach district, and an event space for the Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles. He has collaborated with multiple artists, including Cai Guo-Qiang, Marina Abramović, Kanye West, and Taryn Simon.

Shigematsu has also designed exhibitions for Prada, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Park Avenue Armory in New York. His urban and public space designs around the world include a new civic center in Bogota, Colombia, and a post–Hurricane Sandy urban water strategy for New Jersey, as well as a food hub in Louisville, Kentucky, and a mixed-use development in Los Angeles. As a design critic at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, he is conducting a research studio titled Alimentary Design, investigating the intersection of food, architecture, and urbanism.

Albright-Knox Art Gallery Buffalo
picture courtesy wikimedia commons

“We were looking for genuine sensitivity to our historic buildings and Olmsted campus,” said museum board president Tom Hyde.

OMA fit that bill, having recently completed the Pierre Lassonde Pavilion at the Musée National des Beaux-Arts in Québec, which is also located in an urban park.

Albright-Knox Art Gallery at Buffalo Museum – AK360

The project—which the museum is calling “AK360”—will include the addition of special exhibition areas, doubling the artwork on display, as well as educational and social spaces.

The museum hopes the revamped facility will serve as a cultural anchor for the region. Said museum director, Janne Sirén, “Through our architectural vision, we will aspire to set new standards for how a 21st century art museum can activate the transformative power of art and become a place of community engagement—a town green for all.”

Said OMA principal Shohei Shigematsu: “We are thrilled to be part of this project, which will be important for many reasons including the convergence of historically significant architecture in Buffalo, fostering a more intimate dialogue with the Olmsted landscape setting, answering the need for new exhibition space to display the Albright-Knox’s renowned collection, and position the museum to take a leading role in the city’s broader resurgence.”

According to the museum, OMA will embark on the design process in September and will spend the next year developing the design in tandem with the museum and the community.

The OMA team and Peggy Pierce Elfvin Director Dr. Janne Sirén at the Albright-Knox:
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, New York, USA
photograph by Tom Loonan, image courtesy Albright–Knox Art Gallery

The Albright–Knox Art Gallery is an art museum located at 1285 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, New York in Delaware Park. The gallery is a major showplace for modern art and contemporary art. Wikipedia

Address: 1285 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo, NY 14222, United States

Phone: +1 716-882-8700


Website: Albright-Knox Art Gallery

Website: Albright-Knox Art Gallery Building Expansion – Architectural Record article

Location: 1285 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo, NY 14222, United States of America

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