Speed Art Museum

A New Life for Kentucky’s Oldest Cultural Institution

The Speed Art Museum is Kentucky’s oldest and largest art museum, sited on historic Third Street designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and adjacent to the University of Louisville’s 345-acre Belknap campus. In 2009, wHY was commissioned to imagine the museum’s original 1927 neoclassical building, as well as to develop and execute a comprehensive strategy for physical, curatorial and programmatic growth and expansion.

The primary concept of the Speed’s re-design is “Acupuncture Architecture,” a blend of careful and precise interventions that will reinvigorate the entire campus and user experience. The new 60,000 sq ft North Building will double the overall square footage and nearly triple the gallery space from the existing building.

Upon completion, The Speed will have a state-of-the-art space for larger special exhibitions, new contemporary art galleries, a family education welcome center, a combined indoor/outdoor café, a museum shop, and a multi-functional pavilion for performances, lectures and entertainment.

Additionally, the new Elizabeth P. and Frederick K. Cressman Art Park and public piazza will exhibit outdoor sculpture and engage University of Louisville students, faculty and museum visitors.

  • Workshops
  • Client
    Speed Art Museum
  • Location
    Louisville, KY, USA
  • Area
    200,000 sq ft
  • Budget
    $50 million
  • Role
    Master Planning, Design Architect
  • Status
    Under Construction, opening Spring 2016

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