Major New Art Museum to Help Spark Presidio Rejuvenation
Museum Will Complement Area’s History, Open Space
SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Doris and Donald Fisher today unveiled an elegant conceptual design for the proposed Contemporary Art Museum at the Presidio (CAMP), which will house the Fisher’s breathtaking collection of modern art and significant art education programs for the public.
“A museum today is a forum for civic engagement – one that stimulates social activity and cultural development. Museums are inclusive rather than exclusive. Our goal is to create a venue that preserves, educates, and presents great art of our time in a dynamic facility reflective of its time.”
The graceful, light-filled building is envisioned by Gluckman Mayner Architects as a contemporary response to the scale, material and topography of the Presidio’s Main Post that will complement the surrounding historic buildings and landscape.
“Gluckman Mayner created a design that perfectly blends the building’s two key functions – housing a major contemporary art institution and complementing the existing historical buildings at the Presidio,” Mr. Fisher said. “San Francisco is a Mecca for the performing and visual arts and CAMP will enhance the city’s reputation as one of the world’s foremost cultural destinations.”
The Fishers are proposing a museum with 55,000 sq. ft. of gallery space, which will allow the public to not only view the Fisher’s own collection of more than 1,000 masterworks but to also view traveling shows and exhibitions of other public and private collections.
The structure itself will be built of masonry and glass, materials inspired by the colors and feeling that define the Presidio’s Main Post. The proposed site just south of the Main Parade Ground is today a seven-acre parking lot.
Visitors will be able to see into the museum as they approach from the north and east, the glass walls blurring the boundary between inside and out. People inside the museum will enjoy spectacular views of the city, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the San Francisco Bay.
“CAMP represents a unique opportunity to site contemporary art at the heart of the Presidio’s cultural landscape,” said architect Richard Gluckman, FAIA, Principal of Gluckman Mayner Architects. “A museum today is a forum for civic engagement – one that stimulates social activity and cultural development. Museums are inclusive rather than exclusive. Our goal is to create a venue that preserves, educates, and presents great art of our time in a dynamic facility reflective of its time.”
In addition to the new museum building, the project includes the renovation of a nearby barracks, Building 101, which will house the museum’s bookstore and vigorous public education programs, which will include a very important photography studio, ceramics studio and painting and drawing classes.
Normally a museum exhibition space is less than 25 percent of the building’s total. The rest is taken up by offices, storage, restaurants, bookstores, etc. By renovating and using Building 101 – which has stood empty for more than 20 years – CAMP will be able to dedicate a significant portion of its total space to education programs for youth, seniors and students of the arts.
The new museum itself is envisioned as a two-story building with a partial basement and a 100-vehicle underground parking garage. The structure will be partially embedded into the slope behind the museum, reducing its perceived size by taking advantage of the surrounding topography.
“We are extremely proud of this project,” Mrs. Fisher said. “And we are thrilled to have the chance to give something back to the city that we love.”
To help ensure that the new museum is environmentally sustainable, CAMP will be constructed using “green” design techniques and building materials to reduce energy and water consumption to the greatest degree possible. Also, CAMP will encourage its staff and visitors to use public transit, bicycles and other alternative forms of transportation to minimize automobile trips.
The Fishers started collecting modern and contemporary art more than 30 years ago. They have acquired works in depth from artists they admire and can show an entire span of an artist’s career, something few collections, public or private, are able to do.
Doris and Donald, who together founded Gap, Inc., in 1969, have cultivated a life-long passion for modern and contemporary art. The family privately displays much of their collection at the Gap headquarters in San Francisco. Occasionally some of the art is displayed at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, where Mr. Fisher serves as an officer on the board of trustees. He is a former member of the Presidio Trust Board of Directors.
The Fisher Collection includes more than 1,000 works of art by artists such as Gerhard Richter, Richard Serra, Alexander Calder, Ellsworth Kelly, Richard Diebenkorn, Cy Twombly, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Chuck Close, Willem DeKooning, Brice Marden, Agnes Martin, Anselm Kiefer and numerous other leading artists.
The Main Post, including the Parade Ground, is the focus of an extensive, multi-year revitalization effort by the Presidio Trust, the federal agency responsible for the preservation, enhancement, and sustainability of the Presidio.