BUILDING A DAY: October 12, 2014

Tampa Museum of Art
Tampa, Florida

Architect: Stanley Saitowitz
Photos: Javier Garcia


?The museum is a neutral frame for the display of art, an empty canvass to be filled with paintings. It is a beautiful and blank container, a scaffold, to be completed by its contents. We are interested in openness, in expanding possibilities for the futures, in Architecture as infrastructure.

?The building enhances the park, embracing and amplifying it with its overhanging shelter and reflective walls. The building is not only in the landscape, but is the landscape, reflecting the greenery, shimmering like the water, flickering like the clouds.?
—-Stanley Saitowitz | Natoma Architects Inc.

Stanley Saitowitz of Natoma Architects, San Francisco, CA, designed the Tampa Museum of Art. The museum opened to the public in 2010.

The museum is located in downtown Tampa’s Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. The 66,000 square foot building’s unique design is often described as an ?electronic jewel box sitting on a glass pedestal.? It is regarded as a work of art with its strong lines, large cut outs, 40 foot cantilever, pierced aluminum and glass pedestal exterior, and its most impressive feature- 12,000 square feet of LED and fiber optic color-changing lights on the south facade.

The interior is very neutral to adequately display the traveling exhibitions and its growing collection of contemporary and classical art. It includes state-of-the-art gallery spaces with unique translucent ceilings, white materials, polished concrete floors, and subdued lighting.

The building’s exterior creates an experience of its own at night with a light show that reflects onto the water. Its reflective aluminum exterior against the reflective water below, allow for a feeling of integration with the landscape. In addition, the structure with its glass pedestal feature allows it to have an appearance of hovering over the park. All of these elements create a concept of “a hyphen between ground and sky.?

It has won several design awards and has been nationally recognized as a major arts destination and premier venue for residents and visitors. In 2010 it was awarded the American Architecture Award by the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design as well as an honor award from the AIA San Francisco chapter.


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