In Progress: Salvador Dalí Museum / HOK + Beck Group

© HOK +

HOK, along with Beck Group, has designed a new museum to house the works of Salvador Dalí in , Florida. The architecture, greatly inspired by the great surrealist, “combines elements of the classical and the fantastical,” according to the director of the museum. The design speaks to the essence of Dalí while incorporating functional elements to combat Florida’s tough weather.

More images and more about the museum after the break.

© HOK + Beck Group

Since Florida is prone to powerful hurricanes, the art is located above the flood plane and housed within cast-in-place reinforced 18” thick concrete walls. The museum can protect the prized collection from up to a Category 5 hurricane storm surge and 165mph winds.

© HOK + Beck Group

While the concrete protects the art, this “treasure box” is broken and disrupted by the organic, triangulated glass “Enigma.”    The glass is seen as “contrast between the rational world of the conscious and the more intuitive, surprising natural world” – a recurring theme of Dalí’s work.

© HOK + Beck Group

This glass “Enigma” has a specific connection to Dali, as he greatly admired the work of Buckminster Fuller, who developed the geodesic dome. Restricted by the technology of the time, Fuller was limited to experimenting with platonic solid and great circle geometries. Yet, recent modern technology, using computer analysis and digitally controlled fabrication, allows each component to be unique.   No glass panel, structural node or strut is precisely the same, and all are identified by bar code to facilitate fabrication, shipping and assembly. “This has permitted us to create a family of shapes which while structurally robust more closely resembles the flow of liquids in nature,” added the architects. This is the first use of this type of free-form geodesic geometry in the United States.

© HOK + Beck Group

The eye-catching spiral staircase references Dali’s fascination with DNA, the golden rectangle and the Fibonacci series. The amazing curve is a “structural tour-de-force, with the reinforced concrete spiral functioning as a tensioned spring held at ground level and at the third floor, with the stair treads cantilevered from the central spiral.”

© HOK + Beck Group

St. Petersburg, Florida

Floor area: 66,000 square feet

Budget: $30 million

3 floors

Opening to Public 1/11/11, at 11:00 a.m.

Cite: Cilento, Karen. "In Progress: Salvador Dalí Museum / HOK + Beck Group" 30 Jul 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 27 May 2015. <>
  • Lil Jimmy

    Can HOK’s design license be revoked?

    • Sean

      all, it would take is someone tripping on those stairs…

  • Hadit

    I second that nomination to revoke their right to build!

  • nobody


  • dlane

    HOK, just because you have a computer program that can triangulate a design, doesn’t make it a good design. Why don’t you put some honest thought into your work and not make it so gimmicky.

    • Albert

      What’s a fuss? Today most (if not all) starchitects work this way… Honest thought is to much to ask.

  • Carlos

    Where are the melting pocket watches?

  • Tony

    I’m sure the stair is going to turn out awesome but the cube with glass glob is not a nice composition.

    • Ryan Siemers

      I am interested in the idea of taking Dali’s amorphous forms translated to a museum… about Dali.

      You can hate or love it, but the idea behind this type of art is to have you rethinking conventional interpretations of space and the everyday, is compelling.

  • t

    It´s wicked man!!!!

  • brb001

    Why does Florida have a Salvador Dali musuem? Seems like an odd place for this.

    • mkrug

      because the founders of the museum (Reynolds and Elenor Morse) both loved Dali and his paintings and if im not mistaken bought most of his works.

  • mnjoe

    looks like that eric owen moss warehouse project from a while back.