Centennial Expansion Phase
Art museums are a key component to a healthy economy. The Tampa Museum of Art’s Centennial Renovation and Expansion project creates a landmark facility for the region and will attract tourists, businesses and new residents to Tampa from around the globe Design and construction documents for the Museum’s 51,000 sq. ft. expansion were completed in 2023 by Weiss/Manfredi.
The Centennial Campaign fundraising team, made up of museum board, staff and community members is working hard to continue to raise private funds for this important project.
Expansion Major Features
The Tampa Museum of Art’s surrounding site will be redefined to create new riverfront public terraces and landscapes. A new gateway plaza is introduced on Cass Street that frames the entrance to Curtis Hixon Park. The plaza is bookended by large and small dog parks on both sides. As a continuation of Tampa’s Riverwalk, a sloped walk will bring pedestrians down to the river edge from the ground floor level. An outdoor amphitheater outside the Museum’s auditorium will serve as a shaded place for people to gather. With new native planting and shade trees, the Museum’s ground floor terrace will be accessible from Riverwalk. The goal of the landscape enhancement is to shape a seamless and integrated public experience around the Museum and the park.
The new lobby is accessible from both Curtis Hixon Park and Gasparilla Plaza. It will enhance the visitor experience with almost 12,000 square feet of space dedicated to a newly covered entrance, lobby, store, and café. With an 18’-ceiling height, art can be displayed here. A café with indoor and outdoor tables will be situated on the west side of the lobby.
With exterior glazing along its West façade, the 150-seat auditorium overlooks the Hillsborough River, providing an inside-outside visual connection that defines the space. Equipped with a green room, spring floor, projectors, AV system, and theatrical lighting, a range of events can be accommodated here: lectures, recitals, and multimedia performances. The space will be lined with acoustic wood panels and acoustically isolated from the event space above. A pre-function foyer space will serve as a flexible space on the mezzanine level before and after events.
Flexible Event Space & Digital Exhibition
The Large Event Space features a panoramic view of downtown Tampa, UT, the Hillsborough River, and the Straz Center. With a 30’-tall ceiling equipped with a flexible AV and lighting system, the Large Event Space can host a myriad of events transforming from a flexible digital gallery space to a private event space that can accommodate a seated dinner for 500 people and a dance floor. The adjacent catering kitchen will service the space when used for private events.
The new sculpture terrace connects the existing Sullivan Terrace and the expansion’s second floor. The design will allow sculptures on display to be visible from the Riverwalk and provide a connecting bridge to the new event and programming spaces.
On the fourth floor rooftop, the interior space will house a flexible bar and accommodate a 100-person gathering while the adjacent sculpture terrace provides a canopy with circular oculus for various programming. A demonstration/test kitchen will be incorporated into the interior rooftop space for the Museum to incorporate culinary arts programming!
The sustainability plan involves the additional income-generation activities that the expanded and renovated building space will allow. The quadrupled education space will allow for more revenue through tuition and tours. Expanding the exhibition spaces will draw an additional 50,000 visitors, increasing general admission. More visitors, along with more retail space in the store, will mean more merchandise sales.
The new expansion significantly increases the Museum’s special events and food services capacity. The new lobby has the potential to accommodate different types of events, which can spill out to the expanded terrace and engage the park. The design sets a waterfront café and full service restaurant with outdoor seating on the western front of the lobby, easily accessible from the Riverwalk. For lecture attendees, the mezzanine becomes the primary entry for the 150-seat auditorium that overlooks the Hillsborough River. This auditorium will host talks, film screenings, performances, and educational programs.
The most significant income increases will result from our new rentals and food and beverage commissions. Additional event space will also allow us to expand our fundraising events, allowing for more ticket sales and sponsorships. A rooftop event space and terrace that provides panoramic vistas of Tampa will top the new expansion. An indoor event space opens up directly onto the exterior roof terrace – a place for art, cocktails, performances, and gatherings.
The new building footprint goes beyond aligning with the Museum’s strategic plan of expanding public and education programming for the community. With the new business model for the reconfigured space, the Museum will meet, and in some cases exceed, national averages of support and revenue, establishing Tampa’s cultural legacy for generations to come.