Herzog & de Meuron unveil design for new Memphis Brooks art museum

Herzog & de Meuron unveil design for new Memphis Brooks art museum

Herzog & de Meuron unveiled the design of the new Memphis Brooks Museum of Art overlooking the Mississippi River. The 10,500m² Memphis-based “archimania” will feature expanded galleries, exhibition spaces and open spaces for community and educational programs with free public access. The museum is expected to open to the public in 2026.

© Herzog & de Meuron© Herzog & de MeuronHerzog & de Meuron completes its ST / Songeun concrete building in Korea.  Image © Jihyun Jung© Herzog & de Meuron+ 4

The new museum is part of a 10-meter-long redevelopment project of the Memphis Riverfront, which is currently underway. Regeneration plans include the preservation of the site’s historic wharf, new parks, recreational trails, a “cultural corridor” along the river and connections to downtown and downtown. Riverside features projects from Studio Gang and SCAPE.

© Herzog & de Meuron
© Herzog & de Meuron

The proposed structure will be located on Front Street between Monroe and Union avenues on Cotton Row, an area considered to be the oldest part of Memphis. The design features a pair of double-height wooden columns, a metal canopy, and a brick-paved courtyard as the main entrance. The main structure of the museum is wrapped in an earthen cladding surrounding a horizontal glass box as a central unit. The transparency of the glazing encourages passers-by to see the entrance hall and the museum shop. The museum also includes a wood-lined courtyard used as a public gathering space and recreation area.


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Herzog & de Meuron completes concrete ST / Songeun building in Korea


We sought to design a welcoming civic landmark that, on approach, is visually explained and reminds the visitor from within where they are in relation to a legendary river and a historic city. The result will be a museum in both Memphis and Memphis, a landmark that couldn’t be anywhere else. – Jacques Herzog, co-founder of Herzog & de Meuron

Structurally, the volume extends the original layout of the city streets to the river. The architects used the site’s difficult steep terrain to dictate visitors’ movements and sightlines and create a seamless and inviting structure all around. The lower floors include car parks and public facilities, while the upper floors house galleries and exhibition spaces. Permanent collections will also be placed around the central courtyard and a 175-seat theater with reclining seats is placed above the entrance hall.

© Herzog & de Meuron
© Herzog & de Meuron

When describing the project, the architects speak of five facades; In addition to the earth clad walls and transparent elevations, the southern facade presents itself as a solid wall, providing adequate art storage facilities that require little natural light. The fifth facade is the roof, designed with a habitable terrace, greenery and a panoramic view of the river and the city.

Herzog & de Meuron completes its ST / Songeun concrete building in Korea.  Image © Jihyun Jung
Herzog & de Meuron completes its ST / Songeun concrete building in Korea. Image © Jihyun Jung

The first project carried out by Herzog & de Meuron in Korea has been completed and open to the public. Located in the heart of Cheongdam Dong, one of Seoul’s most commercial areas, ST International Headquarters and SongEun Art Space will offer non-commercial art spaces, a variety of new exhibition spaces and offices for ST International both above and below ground. , creating an inviting space for the public to engage with contemporary art.


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