The Arkansas Arts Center has selected five top architecture firms to compete for the design of a $55 million to $65 million museum expansion project in Little Rock, Arkansas. The project will include a renovation to existing theater and studio spaces, as well as new education facilities for families and gallery space to house the museum’s expanding art collection.
An advisory panel and selection committee named the finalists following a RFQ process featuring 23 local and international firms.
The 5 firms selected as finalists are:
- Allied Works (Portland & New York)
- Shigeru Ban Architects (New York, Paris & Tokyo)
- Studio Gang (Chicago & New York)
- Thomas Phifer and Partners (New York)
- Snøhetta (Oslo, New York and San Francisco)
"After a very deliberate process that involved expert input and a focus on the particular needs of our institution, both the technical review panel and the selection committee agree that we have in this final group not only some of the best architects in the world, but those with the kinds of specific experience with museums and cultural institutions nationally and internationally that we need to successfully accomplish our goals," said Todd Herman, executive director of the Arts Center.
Originally built in 1937 using funding granted by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt as part of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), the Arkansas Arts Center has undergone several expansions throughout its nearly 80 year history, the most recent of which occurred in 2001.
The finalists will now present their design approach and philosophies to a selection committee on Nov. 1. A winner is expected to be selected early in 2017.