Expansion Architects and Partners

SFMOMA and Snøhetta: A Groundbreaking Collaboration

Craig Dykers and Kjetil Thorsen of Snøhetta
Snøhetta principals Craig Dykers (left) and Kjetil Thorsen; photo: courtesy Snøhetta; © Snøhetta

The architecture firm Snøhetta is collaborating with SFMOMA to develop an expansion that will not only create compelling new spaces, but also enhance the museum's contributions to the community. In the words of Craig Dykers, one of Snøhetta's principals, the extension of the SFMOMA building will "become the tissue that merges building and community, supports the museum's role as an educational and civic catalyst, and opens up the museum to the diverse audiences it serves."

"What Snøhetta practices could be called the architecture of engagement, a building conceived as a social and environmental act instead of a static, formal object," Wall Street Journal critic Ada Louise Huxtable has written. Throughout its award-winning body of work, Snøhetta has demonstrated a commitment to innovation and a dynamic and imaginative engagement with environmental and social context. These qualities, along with a track record of unique, timely, and fiscally responsible approaches to complex civic and cultural projects, make the firm ideally suited to meet the goals and needs of SFMOMA and the Bay Area community.

Snøhetta was chosen by SFMOMA's architect selection committee in 2010 following a comprehensive international search. Snøhetta will partner with local firms EHDD and Webcor to execute the expansion project.

About Snøhetta

Snohetta group portrait

Snøhetta firm portrait; photo: Snøhetta; © Snøhetta

Formed in 1989 and led by principals Craig Dykers and Kjetil Thorsen, Snøhetta is an integrated architecture, landscape, and interior design company based in Oslo, Norway, and New York City. The firm, which is named after one of Norway's highest mountain peaks, has approximately 100 staff members working on projects around the world. The practice pursues a collaborative, transdisciplinary approach, with people from multiple professions working together to explore diverse perspectives on each project.

Snøhetta has completed a number of critically acclaimed cultural projects, including the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt; the National Opera and Ballet in Oslo, Norway; and the Lillehammer Art Museum in Norway. Current projects include the National September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion at the World Trade Center site in New York, and the reconstruction of public spaces in and around New York's Times Square.

In 2004 Snøhetta received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, and in 2009 the firm was honored with the Mies van der Rohe Award. Snøhetta is the only company to have twice won the World Architecture Award for best cultural building, in 2002 for the Bibliotheca Alexandrina and in 2008 for the National Opera and Ballet in Oslo.

For more information about the firm, please visit Snøhetta's website.

The Design and Construction Team

EHDD Architecture

EHDD Architecture
EHDD staff; photo: courtesy EHDD Architecture/Sandy Lee

EHDD is an award-winning firm founded in 1946 by the noted architect Joseph Esherick. The firm's traditions — architectural responsiveness to the natural and built environment, sustainability, innovation, collaboration, and a belief in the primacy of the user and the user experience — are evident in its award-winning portfolio, which includes iconic projects like Sea Ranch and Monterey Bay Aquarium; groundbreaking ones such as Global Ecology on the Stanford University campus; and the AIA award-winning Residence Hall Units I & II Infill Student Housing at UC Berkeley. The firm's current projects in the Bay Area include the City College of San Francisco Chinatown/North Beach campus; the new home of the Exploratorium at Piers 15 and 17; and the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, on which EHDD serves as executive architect.

Duncan Ballash, AIA, LEED AP, heads the current EHDD leadership team, which also includes Jennifer Devlin, AIA; Marc L'Italien, FAIA; Scott Shell, FAIA; and founding partner Chuck Davis, FAIA.


Webcor Builders is an award-winning general contractor specializing in a wide variety of project types — from large, ground-up core and shell to smaller tenant improvements and seismic retrofits.

More than 40 years of serving clients such as Oracle, eBay, Lucasfilm, Starwood Lodging, and the California Academy of Sciences has secured Webcor's position as a leading builder of distinguished, high-profile projects. Webcor is also known for its award-winning concrete, interior construction, historic restoration, and seismic renovation work.