Hammer Museum Announces Massive Renovation and Expansion Plan

It will increase exhibition space by 60 percent.

A new corner entry to the Hammer Museum. Rendering courtesy of MMA.

The Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, California has announced that it will be undergoing a major multiyear plan to renovate and expand on the existing site, to be overseen by architect Michael Maltzan and completed by 2020.

Coupled with renovation of the museum’s current venue, the expansion also takes over 40,000 square feet of newly acquired space adjacent to the Hammer. Such growth will considerably increase the museum’s visibility, fronting an entire city block on Wilshire Boulevard in the City of Angels.

According to a press release, the overhaul plus expansion—repeatedly referred to by the Hammer Museum as a “transformation”—will provide 60 percent more exhibition space, with two entirely new major galleries, with one allotted specifically for works on paper, to emphasize the museum’s growing collection of photographs and drawings.

A rendering of Southern Façade on Wilshire Boulevard, courtesy of MMA.

A rendering of the Southern Façade on Wilshire Boulevard, courtesy of MMA.

“We invite all of Los Angeles to enjoy the first stage in our transformation as we open major exhibitions by Jimmie Durham and Jean Dubuffet—this is just the beginning,” said director Ann Philbin.

The plan also aims to enhance 20,000 square feet of community space, “to make the museum more accessible and inviting to both visitors and passersby.”

Though originally designed by architect Edward Larrabee Barnes, the Hammer Museum has a longstanding collaborative relationship with Maltzan, who has led additions and renovations over the years. He helmed the design of the museum’s Billy Wilder Theater in 2006, its courtyard and café in 2012, and the John V. Tunney Bridge in 2015.

Maltzan said, “The Hammer has become an essential destination in Los Angeles. This transformation will make it dramatically more visible and inviting, more connected, more immersive. It will mark a major new chapter for what the Hammer is, and what it can be.”


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