The Frost Art Museum's building was designed by internationally recognized architect Yann Weymouth of Hellmuth Obata + Kassabaum (HOK). The 46,000-square foot facility opened in November, 2008.
The structure features a soaring three-story glass atrium entrance and a dramatically suspended staircase leading to the second and third floors containing over 9,000 sq. ft. of exhibition space. Three of the nine galleries are dedicated to the permanent collection, while the remaining six galleries will feature temporary exhibitions. Among various interior design highlights is the prominent use of natural daylight in the galleries. Large “leaves” or “petals” are constructed to diffuse ultraviolet by preferentially scattering light to the walls. This unique gallery lighting was designed by ArupLighting.
Ample storage room for the collection in the new building allows proper space for conservation, research and preparation of artwork. On the ground floor the Kenan-Flagler Family Discovery Gallery and Museum Terrace serve as the heart of the Museum’s educational and community outreach. Also on the first level visitors will find the Steven & Dorothea Green Multi-Purpose Auditorium and Lecture Hall, the Dahlia Morgan Members’ Lounge, the café and museum shop.
The realization of a first-class facility provides increased accessibility to the visual arts to FIU's multicultural student body, the growing local population and Miami’s visitors. The new museum is destined to become the cultural heart of the campus and an essential part of Miami’s growing arts community. On its tranquil lakeside site, the new building frames the "Avenue of the Arts." Accentuated by selected works from the Museum’s outdoor sculpture collection, the Avenue of the Arts connects the Museum, the Wertheim Performing Arts Center and the Management and Advanced Research Center (MARC) on the University Park campus.
Architect, Yann Weymouth
Yann Weymouth, AIA, then design director of Hellmuth Obata + Kassabaum (HOK), is the acclaimed architect for the new Frost Art Museum. Weymouth is internationally renowned for his work on museums. He was honored by President Francois Mitterand of France for his role as chief of design for I.M. Pei for the Grand Louvre project in Paris. He previously served as Pei's design chief for the East Wing of the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. Weymouth was the founding partner of RedRoof Design in New York City, a pioneering modern architectural firm. Weymouth's current projects include three new buildings for the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, and the Uris Educational Center at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Founded in 1955, HOK is a global architectural firm specializing in planning, design and delivery solutions. Through its collaborative network of 24 offices worldwide, the firm serves diverse clients around the world. HOK has a distinguished record of museum work, including more than 90 different museum and exhibition projects, among them the Udvar-Hazy Center for the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum, the Japanese-American Museum in Los Angeles, and the George H. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, in College Station, Texas.