The Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami (MOCA) recently announced that Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects will be designing a 27,000 sqf expansion tripling the current museum exhibition space. Unanimously voted by the Council, MOCA’s new gallery space will expand by 16,000 sqf providing the opportunity for multiple exhibitions continuously throughout the year. The project pursue a sustainable design of LEED certifications, and fitting within the city of North Miami’s master plan.
MOCA has built its reputation on its innovative exhibitions, world-renowned permanent collection, education programs, and special events that maximize the use of space in its current building and surrounding plaza. The 27,000 square-foot expansion will triple the museum’s current exhibition space. With 16,000 square feet of galleries, MOCA will be able to present multiple exhibitions continuously throughout the year and have ample space to show its permanent collection that is distinguished by the many large-scale works and installations in its holdings. The expansion will also create a dedicated wing for The MOCA Art Institute, the museum’s dynamic arts and communications initiative that currently serves 20,000 students of all ages annually with exciting classes and programs in art history, inter-disciplinary and museum studies, studio art, photography, writing and graphic arts. The project will also include new art storage space and enhanced public areas. Approximately 7,500 square feet of existing space will be renovated to enhance MOCA’s current amenities and improve the functionality of the front plaza.
Through a competitive bid process, the New York-based firm Gwathmey Siegel & Associated Architects, LLC, in association with RJ Heisenbottle Architects, Miami, won the contract for design services, which are not to exceed $1.15 million, funded through the North Miami Community Redevelopment Agency. Gwathmey Siegel & Associates designed MOCA’s original building, which opened in February 1996, and now the legacy of the late Charles Gwathmey will live on with the MOCA expansion.
Overall, the MOCA expansion project is inclusive of many phases including, schematic design, design development, contract documents, building and permitting and the construction administration. Completion is anticipated for August 2013. The estimated cost for the overall project is $14 million.
The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), under the leadership of its Executive Director and Chief Curator, Bonnie Clearwater, has grown into an internationally renowned institution that has made North Miami a regular stop on the art circuit, and an essential hub for culture and education. In the 15 years since it opened, MOCA has become a significant asset to the City of North Miami, serving as a destination for 80,000 visitors annually.
MOCA is truly one of the pillars of North Miami. Not only is it an economic engine that is attracting unique businesses, art galleries and restaurants to the 125th Street corridor, “ explains North Miami Mayor Andre D. Pierre. “The world visits North Miami to enjoy MOCA, not only for its art on view, but also for its impact on the community through creative and effective outreach programs.”
“We thank the City of North Miami for its extraordinary vision and continued dedication to making MOCA a major cultural destination and resource,” said Michael Collins, Chairman of MOCA’s Board of Trustees.
Since opening in February,1996, MOCA has presented over 150 exhibitions, the majority of which were originated by MOCA curators. Many artists who have gone on to international acclaim had their first exhibitions at MOCA, and the museum has a history of introducing the work of South Florida artists to the international art world. Thanks to an endowment from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in 2008, MOCA is also one of the few contemporary art museums in the nation to have a dedicated source of funding to present the work of emerging and experimental artists.