Portfolio - Museum / Historic Preservation Architecture 

Asian Art Museum

Asian Art Museum 

(HOK-Aulenti-Wong-LDA Project)
San Francisco, CA

Prior to starting her firm in 2001-02, Kathy Shaffer had the opportunity to work for LDA as a project architect. LDA was part of the team that completed working drawings for the adaptive reuse of the 1917 San Francisco Public Library into a new Asian Art Museum following a design by Gae Aulenti. LDA describes the project <here> quoted below:

The New Asian Art Museum occupies the site of the former old San Francisco Public Library, a grand classic 1917 historic landmark building on the north east corner San Francisco’s Civic Center, of one of the Country’s most significant Beaux Arts urban designs. The design of the rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of this structure is by Gae Aulenti (of Musee d’Orsay fame), and the architectural realization of the project is the work of the collaborative team of architects composed of LDA Architects, HOK and Robert Wong. 

The design of the new museum maintains the Beaux Arts exterior virtually intact, while inside, the New Asian galleries, public spaces and operational needs are designed retaining the historically significant architectural spaces and details of the interiors. At the base of the Great Hall (once the library’s card catalog room) a new glass roof defines an outdoor-like public piazza, providing a central focus to which all visitors can relate from almost any location in the museum. 

The new museum is approximately 185,000 square feet total, an increase of 75 per cent compared to the old facilities. New gallery space is 29,000 square feet of permanent state-of-the-art interpretive displays and programs with 8,500 square feet of ground floor gallery space dedicated to temporary exhibitions. Other features include three multi-purpose classrooms for educational and cultural programs and an Educational Resource Center for video viewing, audiotape listening and book reading. 

Base isolation seismic strengthening is included in the rehabilitation and interior redesign with the entire project representing a public/private partnership totaling $160.5 million for the first phase. The design of a phase II program, which includes gallery expansion and an auditorium, is anticipated to add another $35 million to the project.

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