Dallas Museum of Art Announces Six Finalists in its International Design Competition

by Jessica Fuentes May 5, 2023

Earlier this year, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) announced an international design competition to identify an architectural firm to reimagine the museum. Dr. Agustín Arteaga, the DMA’s Eugene McDermott Director, said in a statement that the competition came about as a way to expand the museum’s collection, and is a result of the DMA’s desire to better meet the needs of its communities.

A color photograph of the Ross Street entrance of the Dallas Museum of Art. A large abstract red sculpture stands in a grassy area to the right of the museum entrance.

The Dallas Museum of Art’s exterior. Image courtesy of the Dallas Museum of Art

Though the call was only open for about one month, the museum received over 150 submissions from architecture firms around the world. The DMA originally planned to select five finalists, but ultimately shortlisted six firms for the project, including David Chipperfield Architects in London, Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Weiss/Manfredi in New York, Johnston Marklee and Michael Maltzan Architecture in Los Angeles, and Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos in Madrid.

A composite image of photographs of key members at six architecture firms.

1. David Chipperfield; photography by Christian Werner; 2. Clockwise from left: Charles Renfro, Ric Scofidio, Elizabeth Diller, and Benjamin
Gilmartin; photography by Geordie Wood, courtesy of Diller Scofidio + Renfro; 3. Sharon Johnston, Mark Lee; photography by Todd
Cole; 4. Hannah Hoyt, Michael Maltzan, Tim Williams; photography by Michael Maltzan Architecture; 5. Fuensanta Nieto, Enrique
Sobejano; photography ©Alvaro Felgueroso Lobo; 6. Marion Weiss, Michael Manfredi; photography courtesy of Shuli Sadé and

In a press release, Architect Selection Committee Co-Chairs Jennifer Eagle and Lucilo Peña explained, “Selecting the shortlist was a demanding process and the Committee’s debate around the final studios was intense and full-hearted. Nonetheless, we achieved a unanimous decision on the DMA six. We found it a privilege to study these submissions – they brimmed with ideas and were a lens on current architectural culture and practice.”

Dr. Arteaga remarked, “The chosen teams feature luminaries but also smaller, less-known but gifted studios. Each is itself a fascinating collaboration, multi-faceted with diverse aspects and skills. Notably, a significant proportion are led by women. The teams now have nine weeks to work their magic. In July we will have six possible visions of how the DMA might be transformed.”

Malcolm Reading, the Competition Director added, “The challenges facing the building and the museum are emblematic of our times. The complex program, matched with the shortlist’s variety and talent, gives the museum a rare opportunity: to renew one of Dallas’ most cherished institutions and give the broader museum community a case study in reuse.”

The shortlisted firms will all participate in a public forum, moderated by Mr. Reading, at the DMA on Saturday, May 13 from 10 AM to 12 PM. Please note that the event is already sold out, but interested attendees are invited to RSVP to have their name added to the waiting list. A public exhibition of the design concepts will be presented at the museum in early July, with opportunities for community feedback. The designs will also be presented on the competition website.

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