November 16, 2005—The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) today announced plans to launch a competition to design a rooftop sculpture garden atop the SFMOMA parking garage. The garage is located on Minna Street directly behind the Museum’s Mario Botta–designed building.
“We are thrilled to announce our ambitions for a rooftop sculpture garden,” states SFMOMA Director Neal Benezra. “The garden promises to be architecturally distinctive and to provide a comfortable place for our visitors to relax and enjoy art outdoors. It also will provide us with the opportunity to display and expand our collection of modern and contemporary sculpture.”
SFMOMA will invite selected architects based in Northern California to submit proposals for the garden. Support for this competition has been generously provided by an anonymous trustee. The winning design will be chosen by a jury comprising Benezra and a committee drawn from SFMOMA’s Board of Trustees. The competition will be overseen by David Meckel, chair of SFMOMA’s Architecture and Design Accessions Committee and current director of research and planning at California College of the Arts.
The 14,400-square foot sculpture garden will be constructed on the fifth-floor roof of the Minna Street parking garage and will be accessible via a bridge from the Museum’s fifth-floor galleries. The rooftop space is surrounded by a twelve-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 be available as a venue for special events and functions.
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.