Portland Museum of Art Campus Unification + Expansion International Design Competition: Building a Landmark for the Future Call for Participation

Portland Museum of Art Campus Unification + Expansion International Design Competition: Building a Landmark for the Future Call for Participation

The Portland Museum of Art (PMA), founded in 1882, is Maine’s largest and most visited art institution, and one of the oldest museums in America. Located in the heart of downtown Portland, one of the nation’s most beloved cities, the museum encompasses a full city block of buildings of historical and architectural significance. The PMA’s world-class collection includes more than 18,000 objects, including 19th- and 20th-century American and European art, modern and contemporary art, as well as iconic Maine works that highlight the rich artistic traditions of the state and its artists.

The museum has outgrown its current campus due to increased visitation and several major donations to its collection. The expansion and diversification of artworks, record attendance before the pandemic, and community feedback highlighted the need for more space.

The PMA sees this as an opportunity to experience the impact a museum can have when built with an inclusive lens. By creating a community hub with myriad collaborative spaces and focusing on groundbreaking approaches to art, the PMA believes it can become a place where everyone feels like they belong. More than just a new building, the unification and expansion of the PMA campus is a value proposition, envisioning the monumental positive impact that museums can have on their communities.

The institution’s progressive and inclusive vision for curation, education and engagement will be reflected in an innovative and forward-looking architecture. This will ensure that the MPA and the future of the region is grounded in diversity, equity, accessibility, inclusiveness and sustainability. And therefore, the PMA will transform the very nature of what a museum can be.

The new wing of the PMA Museum will anchor and integrate the entire campus and double the existing size of the institution. It will be an environmentally and environmentally friendly expansion that will house new collections and major exhibitions, host community events, programs and a performance space to view and create art, and will bring together all staff offices.

The museum’s bold and ambitious agenda will physically harness the commitments and core values ​​of the PMA through an architecture that will renew, revitalize and redefine the role of a museum in society. The PMA is courageous, forward-looking and determined to create a paradigm shift for museums around the world.

The Portland Museum of Art Campus Unification + Expansion International Design Competition challenges architects to form a multidisciplinary team of accessibility, inclusiveness and sustainability experts, landscape architects and graphic designers to create an inclusive place that champions open expression and makes art accessible to all, a place that keeps the promise of the PMA’s mission, art for all. The PMA imagines an inclusive and iconic Landmark for the Future.

Competition format

The Portland Museum of Art Campus Unification + Expansion International Design Competition is a two-stage open selection process.

Stage I: The Request for Qualification (RFQ) invites architects worldwide to form and lead a visionary, multi-disciplinary team of professionals (Design Team) and respond to this Request for Qualification. After evaluating the RFP submissions, the PMA will select up to four companies and their proposed teams to participate in Stage II.

Stage 2: Design Competition invites selected and shortlisted teams (Shortlist) to develop a design concept for the project. An honorarium of $50,000 will be paid to each of the shortlisted teams that have met the PMA Stage II requirements, payable upon selection of a winning team.

Submissions from shortlisted teams will be displayed for three weeks at the PMA in Portland, Maine, as well as online at the contest website. In addition, all finalist teams will be invited to present their designs at a public forum to be held at the museum and will have the opportunity to participate in a question-and-answer session with this public before their presentation to the competition jury.

In December 2022, a winning design team will be selected by a jury consisting of:

  • Kyo Bannai, Board of Directors
  • Mark HC Bessire, Judy and Leonard Lauder Director
  • Milton Curry, Della & Harry MacDonald Dean, University of Southern California School of Architecture, Director, Milton Curry ProjectStudio
  • Eileen Gillespie, Vice President, Board of Directors, Visual Artist
  • Cyrus Hagge, Chairman, Board of Directors, Owner, Project Management, Inc.
  • Jocelyne Handy, board of directors
  • Elizabeth Jabar, Board of Trustees, Lawry Family Director of Civic Engagement and Partnerships, Colby College
  • Bob Ludwig, President and Chief Mastering Engineer, Gateway Mastering Studios
  • Marcia Minter, Board of Directors, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Indigo Arts Alliance
  • Theresa Secord, Board of Directors, Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance Executive Director
  • Jack Soley, Board of Directors, Partner, East Brown Cow
  • Monica von Schmalensee, Partner, White Arkitekter
  • Sara Zewde, Founding Director, Studio Zewde, Assistant Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Design
  • Susanna Sirefman, Competition Director and Jury Advisor, President, Dovetail Design Strategists

Calendar of competitions

Step I: Request for Qualification
June 1, 2022 Publication of the price request
July 1, 2022 Qualifying until 3:00 PM EST
Early August 2022 Shortlist Announcement

Stage II: Design Competition (for invited shortlist only)
Publication of the design brief in early August 2022
End of December 2022 winning team announced

Learn how to submit your project.

  • Title

    Portland Museum of Art Campus Unification + Expansion International Design Competition: Building a Landmark for the Future Call for Participation

  • Type

    Announcement of competition (built projects and master plans)

  • Organizers

    Dovetail design strategists
  • Submission deadline

    01 July 2022 20:00

  • Price


This contest was submitted by an ArchDaily user. If you would like to submit a competition, call for applications or any other architectural “opportunity”, please use our “Submit a competition” form. Opinions expressed in advertisements submitted by users of ArchDaily do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ArchDaily.

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