Milwaukee Art Museum
Milwaukee Art Museum The MAM project features the new Santiago Calatrava designed Quadracci pavilion, renovated and reinstalled galleries in existing Museum buildings designed by Eero Saarinen (1957) and David Kahler (1975), and an elegant network of gardens, hedges, plazas and fountains designed by landscape architect Dan Kiley.

The Milwaukee Art Museum (MAM) commissioned Santiago Calatrava to design a 58,000 square foot addition to the Museum in 1994. Since completion of the first model in 1995 and as fundraising that exceeded expectations, the Museum made a strategic decision to expand the scope of the project. Major visitor amenities, such as the south terrace and a parking garage, were added to the design, and space for the expansion was increased to 142,050 square feet to accommodate the additions.

The expansion provides a 30 percent increase in overall gallery space, from 90,000 to 117,000 square feet.
Galleria, Quadracci Pavilion The first Calatrava designed building to be completed in the United States, the Quadracci Pavilion, incorporates both cutting-edge technology and old-world craftsmanship.

The Reiman Bridge Signature elements of the Calatrava design include the Reiman Bridge, a 250 foot long suspended pedestrian bridge that links downtown Milwaukee directly to the lakefront and the Museum. The bridge features a distinctive 200 foot angled mast with cables that reflects Calatrava's unique experience in bridge design throughout Europe.

The Museum's main entrance leads into a parabolic-shaped, glass enclosed reception hall with a 90 foot ceiling. The Burke Brise Soleil, the movable, wing-like sun screen comprised of 72 steel fins, rests on top of the glass-enclosed reception hall and is raised and lowered to control both temperature and light in the structure. With fins ranging in length from 26 feet to 105 feet, the Brise Soleil wingspan spreads 217 feet at its widest point, wider than a Boeing 747-400 airplane, and weights 90 tons.

Watercolor by Santiago Calatrava Calatrava's designs are often inspired by nature, featuring a combination of organic forms and technological innovation. The Milwaukee Art Museum expansion incorporates multiple elements inspired by the Museum's lakefront location. Among the many maritime elements in Calatrava's design are: movable steel louvers inspired by the wings of a bird; a cabled pedestrian bridge with a soaring mast inspired by the form os a sailboat and a curving single-storey galleria reminiscent of a wave. "Rather than just add something to the existing buildings, I also wanted to add something to the lakefront. I have therefore worked to infuse the building with a certain sensitivity to the culture of the lake - the boats, the sails and the always changing landscape".


57 photos and 1 drawing

Building Activity

  • Seth Herlinger
    Seth Herlinger commented
    amazing building! Santiago Calatrava is one of my favorite architects
    about 3 years ago via Mobile
  • Antonina Ilieva
    Antonina Ilieva updated, updated a media and updated a digital reference
    about 5 years ago via
  • Nadezhda Nikolova
    Nadezhda Nikolova updated a digital reference and updated
    about 5 years ago via
  • lil sparkey
    lil sparkey commented
    I love the fountains and the way that the building kind of flows with the natural landscape of the lake front.
    about 6 years ago via iPhone
  • jake429
    jake429 commented
    I loved the design of the plaza and the wings. Fantastic!!
    about 6 years ago via iPhone