The Buffalo AKG Art Museum will open its doors to tourists on May 25, 2023. It was established in 1862, and under Gordon Bunshaft’s design for Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, it underwent repairs and an enlargement in the early 1960s. Shohei Shigematsu from OMA in Rotterdam was chosen in 2016 to finish the renewed and vastly expanded campus. When the museum reopens, it will have a new signature structure, a sky bridge connecting to the current gallery spaces, a new courtyard, and renovations to the current exhibition spaces, all of which will help it better fulfill its mission to highlight well-known artists from all over the world and the local community.

OMA's Expansion and Renovation Project of the Buffalo AKG Art Museum Will Open in May 2023 - Sheet1
Buffalo AKG Art Museum_©OMA New York
Buffalo Art Museum - Sheet2
The Buffalo AKG Art Museum campus_©OMA New York

At the furthest northern end of the famed Delaware Park, which Frederick Law Olmsted created, sits the AKG Art Museum. Buffalo has gained notoriety as a result of both its contribution to the industrial revolution and the continuing rehabilitation of its legacy. The museum is housed in two interconnected historic structures: a substantial, neoclassical Edward B. Green structure from 1905, which was initially built for the 1901 Pan-American Exposition, and a Modernist addition by Gordon Bunshaft from 1962, which included an outdoor courtyard and a new auditorium box.

Both a new pavilion and a surgical refurbishment plan for the university’s existing buildings were necessary as part of the campus transformation. These upgrades featured a larger footprint to accommodate a developing collection, spatial flexibility to accommodate the museum’s varied programming, and porosity to allow a greater openness to outdoor activities and the local environment. The new pavilion is more exposed to its surroundings than the older structures were. It offers the institution’s architectural history legacy a new profile and voice as a transparent entity. The goal is to combine art, architecture, and nature to create a museum that resembles a campus.

OMA's Expansion and Renovation Project of the Buffalo AKG Art Museum Will Open in May 2023 - Sheet3
The Jeffrey E. Gundlach Building’s transparent west façade_©OMA New York

A 400-piece exhibition of the museum’s modern and contemporary art holdings will be on display at its reopening, with pieces by Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, Frida Kahlo, and Vincent van Gogh. Artwork from the late 18th to mid-20th centuries is displayed in the Wilmers Building, while art from the late 20th to early 21st centuries is displayed on the second floor of the Gundlach Building.

Buffalo Art Museum - Sheet4
Olafur Eliasson and Sebastian Behmann’s Common Sky, created for the Seymour H. Knox Building’s Town Square by Studio Other Spaces_©OMA New York

The Robert and Elisabeth Wilmers Building, which E. B. Green designed and completed in 1905, is connected to the Gundlach Building by the John J. Albright Bridge, which was erected by OMA to link the new building with the museum’s old grounds. To safeguard a grove of old oak trees, ensure a slope that complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and make it easier to transport artwork from one end of the campus to the other, the bridge’s distinctive, circuitous path from the second floor of the Gundlach Building to the main floor of the Wilmers Building was created. Both the underground parking garage and the ground level may be used to enter the Gundlach Building. Others Will Know, a creative site-specific piece of art by Miriam Bäckström, will be installed on the escalator that leads from the parking garage to the ground level. Utilizing 3-D mapping and virtual reality technologies, the immersive woven tapestry was developed to provide the appearance of depth, transparency, and three-dimensionality.

OMA's Expansion and Renovation Project of the Buffalo AKG Art Museum Will Open in May 2023 - Sheet5
The Robert and Elisabeth Wilmers Building and the Jeffrey E. Gundlach Building are connected by the John J. Albright Bridge_©OMA New York
Buffalo Art Museum - Sheet6
The Jeffrey E. Gundlach Building’s basement level is accessible from the parking lot, and Others Will Know by Miriam Bäckström is shown there_©OMA New York
OMA's Expansion and Renovation Project of the Buffalo AKG Art Museum Will Open in May 2023 - Sheet7
Others Will Know by Miriam Bäckström_©OMA New York

Not to mention that a predicted rise in visits of up to 205,000 per year will enhance income by around $47 million per year. That ratio also reflects the institution’s requirement for nearly twice as much space to house the renowned and expanding collection, 15% of which has never been on display. This collection has recently grown as a result of important additions by contemporary artists including Jeffrey Gibson, Simone Leigh, Arthur Jafa, Nick Cave, and many more.


OMA. (n.d.). Buffalo AKG Art Museum. [online] Available at: [Accessed 07 Dec. 2022].


Shivani Jadhav, a Mumbai-based architect, is attempting to explore architecture through words. She is passionate about discovering new perspectives on structures and bringing them to life through her writing. Her experiment focuses on the social, cultural, and philosophical aspects of architecture.