The Last Word: Dallas Museum of Art’s Agustín Arteaga on Getting 154 Design Submissions for the DMA’s Expansion

“This is an opportunity to crystallize the latest thinking on museum architecture to serve and inspire upcoming generations.”

Dr. Agustín Arteaga
Eugene McDermott Director
Dallas Museum of Art
.…on receiving 154 design submissions for the museum’s planned expansion.

Here's "who said what" in Dallas Innovates Every Day.The Dallas Museum of Art’s call for submissions in its Reimagining the Dallas Museum of Art International Design Competition resulted in 154 submissions from architect-led teams, the museum said.

It’s part of the museum’s plan for a major expansion that will add flexible gallery spaces, reorganized entrances and circulation, and a reapportioned interior.

Agustín Arteaga [Photo: DMA]

The current building, a limestone-clad Modernist structure designed by Edward Larrabee Barnes, opened in 1984. The museum has long outgrown it, with thousands of works unable to be seen because there’s not enough gallery space to mount them.

The submissions were received by the competition organizers, Malcolm Reading Consultants, with U.S.-led teams, including from Dallas, forming just over half of the submissions. Design teams from 26 other countries, including Mexico, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Japan, and Germany, made up the balance, organizers said.

“We’re thrilled by the international design community’s response to our project,” DMA Eugene McDermott Director Dr. Agustín Arteaga said in a statement. “The Dallas Museum of Art has a wonderful collection of art and an engaged, diverse audience—both deserve a transformative and inventive architectural proposition that renews the Museum.”

Arteaga added, “This is an opportunity to crystallize the latest thinking on museum architecture to serve and inspire upcoming generations.”

‘An inspirational project can speak across cultures’

The museum said that competitors include top-tier practices, notably a number of Pritzker Prize and AIA Gold Medal winners, as well as emerging studios.

The museum said the response ranks highly with those for recent open museum competitions in the United States, Europe, and Australia.

According to the DMA, the architectural reinvention of the museum—the anchor of the Dallas Arts District—issued a competition search statement that said its needs “greater physical visibility, to be transparent, show what is going on inside and be emotionally woven into the city’s fabric, as well as being welcoming and accessible to all.”

The DMA said a refreshed and expanded campus will enable it to better serve the diverse city of Dallas and will create additional gallery space to accommodate an expanding collection and strengthen the museum’s work with its communities.

“This outstanding response shows how such an inspirational project can speak across cultures. The DMA’s competition website has attracted nearly 10,000 visitors from 114 countries,” Competition Director Malcolm Reading said in a statement. “Dallas’ profile as one of the most exciting U.S. cities has been integral, as has the design challenge: to reflect and embrace change since the building was conceived in the late 1970s.”

What does the initiative envisage? That would be addition/​s that would add flexible galleries and reaffirm the museum campus’ connection to surrounding neighborhoods.

The DMA said the program also requires a reorganization of internal space, circulation, and entrances, as well as a comprehensive modernization framed within a thoughtful sustainability strategy.

Five finalist teams will be selected

It said that U.S., international, local, and regional teams were encouraged to enter, as well as collaborations between established and emerging talent. It The DMA said that stage one requirements included details of the proposed team; examples of relevant experience; and an initial approach to the project.

“The competition was open to designers all over the world and their response is a great compliment to the museum. We thank all the competitors for their interest,” Architect Selection Committee Co-Chairs Jennifer Eagle and Lucilo Peña said in a statement. “The Architect Selection Committee will now study the submissions carefully. We’re determined to make decisions that will honor the museum, the city and the talent drawn to the project.”

The DMA’s Architect Selection Committee will meet this month to select up to five finalist teams who will go through to the competition’s second stage.

In May, those teams will attend a site visit in Dallas and receive a detailed briefing. They also will take part in a public conversation at the museum.

The finalists will have nine weeks to create a concept design before the Architect Selection Committee meets again to interview them and select a winner, the museum said. All teams will be required to include an architect registered in the state of Texas as part of their team at Stage two.

A public exhibition of the shortlisted schemes will be held at the museum in July, alongside an online exhibition, with opportunities for communities to give feedback.

The winner will be announced in August.

Established in 1903, the Dallas Museum of Art is among the 10 largest art museums in the U.S.

For more of who said what about all things North Texas, check out Every Last Word.

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