Brooks + Scarpa and KMF Architects have designed a new expansion to the Mennello Museum of American Art in Orlando, Florida. The 40,000 square-foot project will integrate with the existing museum building to increase the number and quality of programs, opportunities, and amenities for the institution's growing audiences. The team aims to create a welcoming and inclusive space for exhibitions as a new cultural destination on Lake Formosa.
The Mennello Museum expansion is made to preserve and reimagine the site's green space, the Dr. Phillips Home, walking and bike paths, and the sculpture garden. The $20 million project will include multi-purpose spaces for earned income; events, weddings, classrooms, and conference room, as well as the ability to seat 250 and accommodate 400+ for standing indoor & outdoor events. Michael A. Mennello, the museum’s founder, said that, "My late wife, Marilyn and I opened the museum in November 1998. We were avid art collectors who had a dream to create an intimate cultural gem. Never in a million years did I dream I would be alive to see our museum become a global destination for world-class American Art for all to enjoy.”
Lawrence Scarpa wanted the project to align with the museum’s goals: "The Mennello Museum’s design is both futuristic and timeless. The design mirrors the objective of the artwork inside: It tells a story and furthers the Museum’s mission to be a place of education, culture, and inspiration. More than just a building, it is a civic place for social interaction, bringing people closer to art, each other and to nature, providing an opportunity for new, immersive, art experiences. The building is organized as a series of highly engaging spaces where the Museum’s mission of using art to connect people to the world around them can unfold."
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer touched on the museum’s vision and expansion, saying that, "There is no denying that the arts are the soul of a city. World-class cities place enormous value on their museums and expect them to deliver art and culture that enriches lives. I believe our museum to be one of Orlando’s most beautiful cultural assets. Our residents value the Mennello Museum, and as the museum reaches more people in our community, through more family-friendly programs, compelling exhibitions, and timely events, I am happy that the Museum has developed a road map for the future that includes significant design that can help define what an Art Museum can be in the 21st Century."
Shannon Fitzgerald, Executive Director, stated that, "Our plan is inclusive, welcoming, and sustainable. With the open expansion, we will serve more in our community with a mission-driven building designed to seamlessly merge art, education, nature, dwell, respite, function, and form. We started with visionary ideas on how to make the museum more cohesive and increase public access and with Brooks + Scapa and KMF Architects’ brilliant partnership, the visionary has been put into action—a very exciting moment for us all!”
News via Mennello Museum of American Art