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Herzog & de Meuron to Design Memphis Brooks Museum of Art’s New Building

The Memphis Brooks Museum of Art in Tennessee has tapped the Pritzker Prize–winning firm Herzog & de Meuron to design its new $105 million building overlooking the Mississippi River in downtown Memphis. The institution will be a short walk from the National Civil Rights Museum and the Cotton Museum, among other cultural institutions.

“We have selected Herzog & de Meuron to partner with us because we respect their design philosophy: each project design evolves from a different and fitting formal response to the site and is then realized with unrivaled sensitivity to materials and craftsmanship,” said executive director Emily Ballew Neff. “We’re embarking on a journey to create a landmark that will have enormous impact.”

The new 112,000-square-foot institution will be 25 percent larger than the existing museum and will feature classrooms, a theater, a dining facility, and a museum store, as well as a sculpture garden. The collections storage and art handling areas will also be doubled, and the facility will have a large subterranean parking garage. The museum plans to unveil the design in early 2020 and expects the building to open to the public sometime in 2024. 

The project is part of a larger redevelopment initiative to connect six miles of parks, civic structures, and recreational areas along the Memphis riverfront. Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said: “The Brooks’s new location is an economic stimulus for the city and region that will boost private development and job creation—we’ve seen it happen in other cities. For the first time in decades Memphis is restoring its connection to the Mississippi River waterfront and the public promenade our founders envisioned there. In our bicentennial year, we are again embracing the Mississippi River as our greatest asset.”