Dallas Museum of Art Reveals Concept Designs for Renovated Building

by Jessica Fuentes July 15, 2023

Earlier this week, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) revealed designs by the six finalists in its International Design Competition, launched to reimagine the museum.

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 Dallas Museum of Art

The competition was launched in February as the DMA announced a plan to renovate its facilities in preparation for the eventual growth of the museum’s collection, which in coming years will increase by thousands of artworks that have been promised from local collectors, and to be more accessible and welcoming to the diverse communities the museum serves. 

In May, the DMA selected six finalists from over 150 submissions by firms from 27 countries. According to the competition website, the museum tasked each team with creating a concept design that “give[s] the campus greater physical visibility and transparency, show[s] visitors what is going on inside, and make[s] the DMA more welcoming and accessible to all.”

The concept designs will be on view at the museum on the Mezzanine Level 2, outside of the DMA library, through August 30, 2023. Currently, the museum is seeking feedback from the public via the email address [email protected]

See a preview of the concepts below, with descriptions provided by each firm. Click each link below to read more details and see additional images. 


A concept design for the redesign of the Dallas Museum of Art by David Chipperfield Architects.

DAVID CHIPPERFIELD ARCHITECTS (LONDON, UK) with HarrisonKornberg Architects (Local Architect); James Corner Field Operations (Landscape Architect); Pentagram (Exhibition Design); Thornton Tomasetti (Structural Engineer); Arup (Services and Lighting); and Atelier Ten (Sustainability)

Our design concept originates from a profound sense of respect for the existing DMA campus and a desire to deepen its engagement with the energetic qualities of its immediate urban surroundings. An interpretation of the Museum’s most successful qualities has formed the basis of our approach to reimagining a new DMA that is both culturally and socially responsive, and ecologically responsible.


A concept design for the redesign of the Dallas Museum of Art by Diller Scofidio + Renfro.

DILLER SCOFIDIO + RENFRO (NEW YORK, USA) with Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates Inc. (Landscape Architect); Arup (MEP, Sustainability, and Daylighting Engineer); LERA Consulting Structural Engineers (Structural Engineer); and New Affiliates (Exhibition Design); New Affiliates (Exhibition Design); and GFF (Local Architect)

Edward Larrabee Barnes’s 1984 DMA reflects the values of its time—aloof and sequestered from the everyday lives of Dallas citizens. The new expansion will embrace the public. It will allow the DMA to show its growing collection in new ways, reaching across diverse audiences. It will engage the open sites to the north and south to create two new front doors that bookend the Museum, each visually porous and bustling with activity.


A concept design for the redesign of the Dallas Museum of Art by Johnston Marklee.

JOHNSTON MARKLEE (LOS ANGELES, USA) with Christ & Gantenbein (Museum Specialists); MOS Architects (Public Realm); Sam Jacob Studio (Exhibition Design); Hargreaves Jones (Landscape Architect); Buro Happold (MEP and Sustainability Engineer); Walter P. Moore with Martinez Moore Engineers (Structural Engineer); and Kendall/Heaton Associates (Local Architect)

Our vision for the DMA is of a museum in a garden. A collection of pavilions and courtyards both existing and new, linked by a lively internal street. A place that welcomes and engages its visitors: where art connects with nature, and culture connects with the city. A museum that is made up of collectives and collections, whose architecture forges connections and dialogues among objects, spaces, and people, between city and museum, between art and life, between old and new.


A concept design for the redesign of the Dallas Museum of Art by Michael Maltzan Architecture.

MICHAEL MALTZAN ARCHITECTURE (LOS ANGELES, USA) with Studio Zewde (Landscape Architect); Guy Nordenson and Associates (Structural Design Engineer); Buro Happold (MEP Engineer); Atelier Ten (Sustainability); and JSA/MIXdesign (Exhibition Design and Accessibility)

We believe that the architecture and landscape of the reimagined DMA can weave together the history and the future of both the Museum and Dallas. At the core of our architectural response, we seek to preserve the philosophical aspirations of the original Edward Larrabee Barnes design, modifying it to support the DMA’s evolving requirements. Its stepped gallery sequence is woven together with a new “superfloor” of gallery and program spaces that float above the treetops of the Arts District. 


A concept design for the redesign of the Dallas Museum of Art by Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos.

NIETO SOBEJANO ARQUITECTOS (MADRID, SPAIN) with Atelier Culbert (Exhibition Design); SWA Group (Landscape Architect); Arup (MEP, Lighting, and Sustainability Engineer); Bollinger+Grohmann (Structural and Façade Engineer); and PGAL (Local Architect)

Art inspires the beginning of the architectural project to reimagine the DMA. Claude Monet’s The Water Lily Pond (1903) poetically suggests the reversal of reality in the reflection of water; the lightness of air and clouds versus rootedness in earth and vegetation. Our proposal acknowledges the presence of the original building and its pivotal role in the development of the Dallas Arts District while proposing significant spatial architectural transformations respectful of its recent history.


A concept design for the redesign of the Dallas Museum of Art by Weiss/Manfredi.

WEISS/MANFREDI (NEW YORK, USA) with Hood Design Studio (Landscape Architect); WeShouldDoItAll (Exhibition Design); DVDL (Cultural Strategists); Thornton Tomasetti (Structural Engineer); Jaros, Baum & Bolles (MEP/FP Engineer); and Atelier Ten (Sustainability)

The DMA is an enduring cultural wonder within the increasingly vibrant Dallas Arts District. We admire the cadence of architecture and landscape central to Edward Larrabee Barnes’s and Dan Kiley’s initial vision, yet the existing building’s opacity and unintuitive orientation conceal the vibrancy of this cultural campus. Our design activates and intensifies reciprocities—architecture and landscape, building and garden, art and community—to construct a new tapestry for the arts. Through strategic subtraction and luminous additions, our design reinvigorates this elegant but fortified structure to signal a new transparency, both literal and philosophical, that welcomes the entire community.

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