Albright-Knox to close for two years once expansion begins

Apr 11, 2019

The latest designs for the Albright-Knox Art Gallery's planned expansion were unveiled Thursday. The museum will close for an extended period of time once construction begins later this year.

A key feature is the addition of a new artwork titled "Common sky," an elaborate metal sculpture covered with glass and mirrors that will serve as a canopy over the courtyard of the 1962 Bunshaft Building. Gallery Director Janne Siren says it will create a new Indoor Town Square that will be free and open to the public year-round.

Siren says the space will host several programs including art-making activities, poetry readings, and music.

"It's really creating a portal through the park that used to exist there previously before the Bunshaft Building because there was a path exactly where we are creating that corridor now," Siren said.

Architect Shohei Shigematsu also unveiled plans for the new North Building and a winding bridge to connect it to the gallery's original 1905 building.

A groundbreaking for the $160 million AK360 expansion project is slated for the end of 2019. Operations at the gallery's campus will begin to wind down when construction gets underway and the closure will last around two years. The museum will operate Albright-Knox Northland, a 15,000-square-foot space at 612 Northland Avenue starting in early 2020, which will host exhibitions, performances, and special events.

Community members can weigh in on the plans during a public forum at the Albright-Knox Saturday from 10 a.m. until noon.