Kentucky’s Speed Art Museum, located adjacent to the University of Louisville Belknap (UofL) campus, is re-opening March 12 after being closed since 2011 for a $50 million expansion and renovation project.
The museum, conceived by the Kulapat Yantrasast’s firm wHY (the subject of a feature interview in Whitewall’s upcoming spring 2016 issue, out in April), underwent intense construction and now comprises more than 250,000 square feet of space. The expansion added nearly 75,000 square feet of museum space in addition to more than 70,000 square feet of renovated space.
Following an international architect search in 2008, the museum narrowed down a list of 100 potential contenders to eight, with wHY’s strategy titled “Acupuncture Architecture,” ultimately winning support.
With the new construction and renovation comes a North Pavilion, which will hold the museum’s first-ever contemporary art galleries. The new South Pavilion section is home to additional exhibition spaces, an outdoor sculpture garden, and a state-of-the-art 142-seat cinema on behalf of the newly launched film program “Speed Cinema.”
Now, the museum plans on embracing its geographical location as one the region’s leading cultural repositories, lending itself as a resource for students and faculty from UofL, as well as the local community.
In honor of the Speed Art Museum’s re-opening, musicians, poets, and dancers will be performing on March 12. Following a recent $1 million donation from the Brown-Forman Corporation, admission is free on Sundays for the next five years.