In 2000, after completing a thorough analysis of the museum’s current facilities, the Board of Trustees searched for an architect who would be both sympathetic to the history and character of this institution and capable of shaping a broad and compelling vision of our future.
Trustees found the right match for these needs in Rafael Viñoly. Widely acclaimed as one of the leading architects of his generation, Viñoly is renowned for his elegant and expressive use of structural form and modern materials such as glass and steel. His work also reflects sensitivity to context and an intuitive understanding of how to respond to a specific site—attributes that made him an ideal choice for this project.
Viñoly recognized that the original building, designed by local architects Hubbell & Benes and completed in 1916, should remain the focal point of our expanded museum, describing it metaphorically as a beautiful jewel set within a new ring.
His proposal called for the complete restoration of both this landmark structure and the superb addition on the north designed by Marcel Breuer and completed in 1971, plus the addition of two symmetrical wings on the east and west sides.
The Rewards of Redesign
These new and renovated buildings will provide a significant amount of additional space for the display of our collection, expanded facilities for education, a range of amenities for visitors, and storage and workrooms that will allow for the proper care and safekeeping of our world-renowned art.
At the heart of Viñoly’s design is a great, light-filled courtyard sheltered by a gracefully soaring roof. This will be central to the museum experience, orienting our visitors and helping them understand how our building and collections are organized. It also promises to be one of the most beautiful and impressive civic spaces in the Cleveland region.