San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Rooftop Garden / Jensen Architects/Jensen & Macy Architects

© Bernard Andre Photography

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) rooftop garden is an open-air gallery defined by the intersection of sculpture, space and light. Recipients of an AIA National 2011 Honor Award for Architecture, American Architecture Awards 2010, an San Francisco 2010 Honor Award for Design, and an California Council 2009 Merit Award for Design, the project was designed by Jensen Architects/Jensen & Macy Architects.

Architect: Jensen Architects/Jensen & Macy Architects
Location: San Francisco, California, USA
Principal: Mark Jensen
Project Architect: Dean Orr
Project Team: Steven Huegli, Gretchen Krebs, Orit Goldstein-Mayer
Landscape Architect: CMG (Conger Moss Guillard) Landscape Architecture
Structural Engineer: Forell / Elsesser Engineers, Inc.
Mechanical Engineer: Guttmann & Blaevoet Consulting Engineers
Lighting Design: Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design
Audio Visual: Auerbach-Pollock-Friedlander
Acoustical: Charles M. Salter Associates
Contractor: Vance Brown Builders
Owner/Client: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Richard Barnes, Henrik Kam, Bernard Andre

© Henrik Kam Photography

The entire back wall of the museum’s top floor is removed, allowing a seamless connection from gallery to garden. A large panoramic window at this new opening offers an elevated view to the garden, presenting it like a landscape painting inside the gallery.

© Richard Barnes

A glazed long-span bridge links the Museum to a garden pavilion that in turn opens out to the garden through large sliding glass panels.

© Bernard Andre Photography

Surrounding the garden, lichen-covered lava-stone walls hide the city and frame the sky, providing an oasis for art in the midst of downtown San Francisco.


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Cite: "San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Rooftop Garden / Jensen Architects/Jensen & Macy Architects" 03 Mar 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 May 2015. <>
  • up_today_arch

    Clear and well done place… also I like exhibit items…

  • joy

    Delightful idea but how to tackle security aspect for outdoor display…

  • Juni

    I first thought “they are making some exhibitions in the Barcelona pavilion”. Isn’t the first picture an obvious reference ? However, nice and clean architecture.

  • Vitor Lucas

    the design is safe. If you do it this way it will look like good architecture, but is outdated. It’s still a pleasant space though.

  • kaushal

    The design is safe. but what about the outdoor display security.

  • Trenton Gauthier

    Can anyone tell me the name of the foregrounded sculptures in the first photo? The ones that look like figures emerging from pears.

  • David M.

    The sculpture is called Conversation Piece, NY by Juan Munoz

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