SF Asian Art Museum set to begin major expansion project early next year

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San Francisco's Asian Art Museum is getting ready to undergo a major $90 million transformation.

Museum officials on Tuesday announced details of the facility's long anticipated project which will include a $38 million expansion of the historic 1917 Beaux-Arts building once home to the city's main public library.

A centerpiece of the project is a new, 13,000-square-foot exhibition Pavilion and Art Terrace added to the east, Hyde Street side of the building.

The pavilion will feature an 8,500 square-foot exhibition space with an open air terrace and will be called the Akiko Yamazaki & Jerry Yang Pavilion.

“Now is the time to make this investment,” said Akiko Yamazaki, the museum's board chair. "American life is deeply interwoven with Asia, and the need to understand Asia's history, values and contemporary culture is more essential than ever," she said.    

Los Angeles-based architect firm wHY is working with the museum on the expansion design.

Officials said the renovation will bring dedicated spaces for contemporary art experiences; new approaches to displaying gallery pieces; upgrades to education classrooms and new digital technologies for enhanced interpretation.

The $90 million project will also fund exhibition and program development ($27M) and endowment ($25M).  

Ground breaking for construction is set for early next year and the project is slated to be complete in the summer of 2019.