News Press Release


SFMOMA Announces Winner Of Sculpture Garden Architectural Competition Jensen & Macy Architects To Design Rooftop Space

Release date: May 5, 2006

May 5, 2006—the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) today announced the winner of the architectural competition to design a new sculpture garden atop the Museum's parking garage.

"I am thrilled to announce that Jensen & Macy Architects has been selected as the designer of the new SFMOMA sculpture garden. The firm was chosen for their understanding of and respect for the works of art to be displayed, their appreciation of the beauty and potential of our rooftop site, and the remarkable elegance and restraint of their design. We are certain that Jensen & Macy will create a world-class venue for art as well as a setting of calm repose for visitors to SFMOMA and the city," states SFMOMA Director Neal Benezra.

The winning design was chosen by a jury comprising Benezra, SFMOMA Elise S. Haas Senior Curator of Painting and Sculpture Madeleine Grynsztejn, SFMOMA Trustees Gerson Bakar and Art Gensler, and renowned architect Stanley Saitowitz. The competition was overseen by David Meckel, chair of SFMOMA's Architecture and Design Accessions Committee and director of research and planning at California College of the Arts. "SFMOMA's sculpture garden will be an integral part of the Museum's sequence of galleries. It will be an extension of the Museum, not a remote cul-de-sac. The garden is a gallery without a ceiling that can be curated," says winning architect Mark Jensen. "The garden is a space for sculpture, not a sculptural artifact in itself. It is the intersection of sculpture, space, and light," continues Jensen's partner Mark Macy.

To accomplish this, Jensen & Macy's proposal has situated the sculpture garden as an integral part of the Museum's exhibition space. A panoramic window replaces the entire back wall of the fifth floor, providing a dramatic view of the garden from inside the galleries. Visitors move between the Botta building and the sculpture garden through a generous enclosed passageway that can also be used for the display of art. Outside on the rooftop, sculptures may be installed in two open-air spaces or within a luminous glass pavilion. Dotted with seating areas and elegant plantings, the sculpture garden is ringed by lichen-covered walls that will change color and texture with the passing seasons.

SFMOMA will begin the next phase of the sculpture garden planning immediately, including scheduling, design development, and fundraising.

Founded in 1994, Jensen & Macy Architects is an architecture and interiors firm based in San Francisco. The firm has realized a diverse range of designs, from educational to institutional, commercial, retail, arts-related, and residential projects across California, the United States, and Europe. Jensen & Macy's work has been recognized through numerous design awards and publications. Its extensive knowledge of both standard and alternative construction techniques allows for design solutions that are elegant, cost-effective, and environmentally sensitive. The firm looks for unique, appropriate, and poetic responses to the constraints and opportunities of each project, taking extreme care to conceptualize comprehensively from the general to the particular so that the end effect is one of thorough and thoughtful consideration.

Jensen & Macy's design team is Mark Jensen (principal), Mark Macy (principal), Gretchen Krebs, Steven Huegli, Sonja Hernandez, and Scott Davis. The landscape architecture team is Conger Moss Guillard Landscape Architecture: Kevin Conger (principal), Daniel Baur, Sarah Cowles Gerhan, and Elise Brewster.

The winning proposal is on view until September 5, 2006, in SFMOMA's Koret Visitor Education Center. Also on view are proposals from the five other firms that participated in the competition: Mark Cavagnero Associates, envelopeA+D, Fougeron Architecture, Kuth/Ranieri Architects, and Pfau Architecture Ltd.

The 14,400-square-foot sculpture garden will be constructed on the roof of the SFMOMA Garage on Minna Street, just behind the Museum's Mario Botta–designed building, and will be connected to the Museum's fifth floor galleries. The space is surrounded by a 12-foot wall that serves as a protection from wind and traffic noise and lends visual definition to the rooftop location. Once completed, the garden will serve as a venue for special events as well as an exhibition space for works in the SFMOMA collection.

SFMOMA will showcase a wide selection of sculpture in the garden on an ongoing basis. The Museum's collection features modern sculptures such as Alexander Calder's Big Crinkly (1969) and works by Alberto Giacometti and Henry Moore, as well as contemporary works, including Stele I (1973) by Ellsworth Kelly, Zim Zum I (1969) by Barnett Newman, Untitled (Wheels and Suspended Double Pyramid 3B) (1978) by Bruce Nauman, and Ferro (1978–82) by Mark di Suvero.

Support for the sculpture garden design competition has been generously provided by an anonymous donor.

Media Contacts

  • Libby Garrison, 415.357.4177,
  • Robyn Wise, 415.357.4172,
  • Sandra Farish Sloan, 415.357.4174,

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San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
151 Third Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Founded in 1935 as the first West Coast museum devoted to modern and contemporary art, SFMOMA is currently undergoing a major expansion project to open in 2016 that will significantly enhance gallery, education, and public spaces, enabling the museum to better showcase more of its expanded permanent collection. While the museum is temporarily closed for construction, from June 3, 2013 to early 2016, SFMOMA will be “on the go” with an extensive array of off-site programming across the Bay Area, including collaborative and traveling museum exhibitions, major outdoor projects and commissioned installations, and new education initiatives.

Visit our Web site at www.sfmoma.org or call 415.357.4000 for more information.

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