Friday, Apr 04, 2014 - 11:00 am

San Diego, CA—The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) has selected the architecture firm Selldorf Architects to partner in developing the design for a planned expansion of the La Jolla location.

“This has been a rigorous process reviewing the presentations and qualifications of a wide range of world-class architects and using the knowledge we gained therefrom to make a unanimous selection that we can be proud of,” said MCASD’s Board President Matthew Strauss. “I am grateful for the hard work and vision of my fellow architectural committee trustees, and for their participation in seeing this phase through to completion.” 

The decision follows a comprehensive search that began in 2013 when a future planning committee spearheaded by Paul Jacobs was formed to investigate expanding the Museum’s La Jolla property to include more gallery space. An architectural selection committee headed by Jacobs and Colette Carson Royston was then formed to review proposals from various architecture firms from around the country. After narrowing down the selection and reviewing qualifications, MCASD’s Board of Trustees voted to move forward with Selldorf Architects at the quarterly board meeting at the end of January.

An expansion would maximize gallery space at the La Jolla campus to allow for the presentation of temporary exhibitions alongside galleries dedicated to the Museum’s 4,571-piece permanent collection. The additional space would also allow the Museum to show new installations on a scale never before possible.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to share our internationally renowned collection with the rest of the world,” said Dr. Hugh Davies, the David C. Copley Director and CEO. “We will be able to truly function as a museum of contemporary art, showing the history of contemporary art, with galleries devoted to movements such as minimalism, abstraction, Pop, and more. Sharing this collection of works with the community is our civic duty. It’s time for our masterpieces by artists like Ellsworth Kelly and Andy Warhol to grace our walls on a permanent basis.”

Selldorf Architects is a 60-person firm in New York City that has acquired an international reputation for work that is sensitive to context and program, thoughtful in execution, and timeless. The firm has extensive experience in both cultural projects and renovations as evidenced by the award-winning Neue Galerie in New York City and galleries for David Zwirner and Hauser & Wirth among others. MCASD La Jolla will be the firm’s first contemporary art museum and their first project on the West Coast.

“Selldorf Architects is extremely pleased to have been selected as architects for MCASD's expansion in La Jolla,” said firm principal Annabelle Selldorf. “We look forward to working with the inspired director, curators, and board of trustees. We see tremendous opportunity with MCASD's beautiful site, world-class collection, exhibition program, and rich architectural history as we reimagine the building for the 21st century.”

MCASD has a long and rich trajectory of development and many decades of commissioning buildings by distinguished architects. The Museum is eager to develop the La Jolla site in order to better serve the San Diego community as an educational resource and a gathering space for the public.


About Selldorf Architects

Founded by Annabelle Selldorf, FAIA in 1988, Selldorf Architects has acquired an international reputation for work that is sensitive to context and program, thoughtful in execution, and timeless. The firm’s work includes public and private projects that range from museums and libraries to a recycling facility, and at scales encompassing the construction of new buildings, restoration of historic interiors, and exhibition design. Clients include cultural institutions and universities such as the Neue Galerie New York, the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute,  and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation., In addition, the firm has created numerous galleries for David Zwirner, Hauser & Wirth, and Gladstone Gallery, among others, and designed installations exhibitions for Frieze Masters, Gagosian Gallery and the 2013 Venice Art Biennale.

Selldorf Architects recently completed several cultural projects in the United States and Europe. In Venice, the firm designed Le Stanze del Vetro, a new museum which is dedicated to modern and contemporary glassmaking. This year in New York, the firm completed a 30,000 sf LEED Gold gallery building for David Zwirner and converted the former Roxy roller rink and night club into a vast new exhibition space for Hauser & Wirth. Currently, the firm is renovating Brown University’s John Hay Library and converting a 14 acre former rail depot into an art foundation and research center for the LUMA Foundation’s Parc des Atelier in Arles, France.

Ms. Selldorf is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, an Academician of the National Academy Museum, President of the Board of the Architectural League of New York, and a Board Member of the Chinati Foundation. Born and raised in Germany, she received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Pratt Institute and a Master of Architecture degree from Syracuse University in Florence, Italy.



Founded in 1941, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) is the preeminent contemporary visual arts institution in San Diego County. The Museum's collection includes more than 4,000 works of art created since 1950. In addition to presenting exhibitions by international contemporary artists, the Museum serves thousands of children and adults annually at its varied education programs, and offers a rich program of film, performance, and lectures. MCASD is a private, nonprofit organization, with 501c3 tax-exempt status; it is supported by generous contributions and grants from MCASD Members and other individuals, corporations, foundations, and government agencies. Hugh M. Davies is The David C. Copley Director and CEO at MCASD.

Institutional support for MCASD is provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.