Dallas Museum of Art Opens International Design Competition to Reimagine the Museum

by Jessica Fuentes February 25, 2023

Last week, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) announced its plan to develop a comprehensive renovation of its facilities. To do this, the museum is launching an architect selection competition.

Since 2019, the DMA has been working on a strategic plan focused on better serving its community. Transforming the physical space of the museum will be a key component in creating a more accessible space for the public. Additionally, this renovation will be geared at accommodating the growth of the museum’s collection, which is set to receive thousands of additional artworks that have been promised from local collectors.

In a press release announcing the competition, Dr. Agustín Arteaga, the DMA’s Eugene McDermott Director, said, “This is a pivotal moment for the DMA. With our global collection of more than 26,000 artworks from all cultures and time periods, we are one of the most iconic cultural bodies in the city of Dallas. The campus was thoughtfully designed for the time with many good qualities but also presents challenges. Today we are no longer able to accommodate the exponential growth of our collections and are forced to keep masterworks hidden from the public due to limitations on space. It is time for our building to evolve to meet the current and future needs of our diverse and expansive collections and communities.”  

A photo of the Dallas Museum of Art. The building is gray, and there is a large, red metal sculpture sitting in front of the building.The DMA’s current facility was built in the early 1980s, and at the time was surrounded by empty lots and warehouses. In the years since, the surrounding neighborhood has developed into the Arts District with the addition of nearby visual art organizations like the Nasher Sculpture Center, the Crow Museum of Asian Art, and more recently the Green Family Art Foundation. The DMA, too, has expanded over the years through major donations from patrons like Nancy Hamon, who gave $20 million toward the construction of a 140,000-square-foot addition to the building, which opened in 1993. In 2015, Jennifer and John Eagle donated $3 million to renovate the museum’s entrances.

The architect selection competition is open to U.S. and international emerging and established firms. For the first stage of the competition, there is no design required. Architect-led multidisciplinary teams who would like to be considered will submit details of how they plan to approach the project, their team composition, and their experience. Five finalist teams will receive a $50,000 honorarium to support concept designs, and up to $10,000 to cover related expenses. 

The process will be overseen by the Architect Selection Committee, chaired by Jennifer Eagle and Lucilo Peña, president of Billingsley Development Company. In a joint statement, Ms. Eagle and Mr. Peña remarked, “The DMA and its Architect Selection Committee is committed to an open process and looks forward to involving our community to reimagine the future of the DMA together. We are thrilled by the prospect of assembling a world-class team to bring this next great chapter to life.” 

Other members of the Architect Selection Committee include Agustín Arteaga; Zaida Basora, FAIA and executive director of the American Institute of Architects, Dallas; Mary McDermott Cook, museum trustee; Jeff Ellerman, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and Vice Chairman of CBRE; Marguerite Steed Hoffman, former museum trustee; Darren L. James, FAIA, NOMA, and President of KAI Enterprises; Howard Rachofsky, former trustee; Catherine Marcus Rose, museum trustee and former President of the Board of Trustees; Deedie Rose, museum trustee; Jennifer Scripps, President and CEO of Downtown Dallas, Inc.; Gowri Sharma, President of the Board of Trustees; and Gayle Stoffel, museum trustee. 

The deadline for firms to submit to be considered is March 15. Finalists will be selected this spring, and a winner will be announced this summer. To learn more about the competition and about the museum’s plans, visit the competition website

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