The CMA project is designed by Columbus-based architect Michael Bongiorno of DesignGroup, and is one of several recent and future museum expansion projects that display a remarkable sensitivity to context and community by firms with strong ties to their region. The CMA spaces resonate with audiences looking for meaningful cultural experiences, in part because the architect understands the DNA of the place—its stories, connections and surroundings. The museum, thanks to its community-centered design, is where creativity and daily life in the city of Columbus come together.
The construction of the new wing marks the third and final piece of a three-part master plan. This phase involved adding a 50,000 square-foot wing to the original 1931 landmark, a renovation of the existing wing (built in 1974), increased special exhibitions and collections spaces, a new main entrance, a retail space and restaurant, new sculpture garden and updated outdoor spaces. This project was completed in 2015.
Why expand? In 1931 CMA owned 500 pieces of art and had 10 gallery spaces. Today, the collection has grown to more than 10,000, yet the same 10 galleries remain, and the endowment has more than doubled in size. The expansion allowed the museum to highlight the collection, welcome exciting special exhibitions and nurture the culture of creativity in Columbus.