Akron Art Museum
In the early 1980s, Westlake Reed Leskosky preserved the former U.S. Post Office and adapted it into a distinguished museum of photography and contemporary art. In the last 20 years, the museum's programming needs increased. Our firm performed master planning and programming and associated with international design architects Coop Himmelb(l)au on a major addition completed in 2007, which increased the museum's size from 36,000 to 88,000 sf. Spatially, the expansion is composed of three main architectural elements: The metal-clad, windowless "Gallery Box" that cantilevers over portions of the grand lobby; the glass-steel "Crystal" encompassing the lobby; and the metal-clad "High Roof" that floats over the entire building. Conceptually, the design changes the role of the museum from a cultural repository to that of an urban event space.