Walker Art Center, Expansion

Multidisciplinary design and a world-class museum expansion

The Walker’s 100,000-SF expansion and renovation enhances the artistic, educational, and social experience for visitors. HGA collaborated with Swiss architect Herzog & de Meuron on the design, which features interplay of indoor and outdoor areas.

The expanded museum features galleries and gardens for the museum’s growing collection, a technologically sophisticated performance space, a new-media laboratory, rooftop terraces, museum shop, and underground parking. A key design feature is the “Town Square,” which draws people for informal conversation, interactive learning, and community programs.

Civil Engineering

HGA developed clear circulation flow between different outdoor adjacencies—Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, underground and surface parking, Hennepin Avenue—to guide visitors to the entry and a world-class museum experience.

Landscape Architecture

Building on a “town square” concept, new gardens encourage conversation, interactive learning and community programs, including a new four-acre park that hosts large outdoor events and Walker’s “Open Field” programs.

Structural Engineering

HGA devised highly innovative solutions to the architectural challenges. The dramatic theater cantilever is possible through the use of wall trusses that wrap three sides of the box. Two 60-foot-deep wall trusses cantilever approximately 60 feet past their single support column to suspend the massive form above the sidewalk. The glass walls remain unobstructed by columns, as structural steel mullions support the roof. By post-tensioning the anchor bolts to achieve base fixity and loading each with just a single roof beam, the required section could be made as small as a mullion designed only for wind. The mullions are formed from welded steel plates and milled to tolerances one-fourth that of typical steel.


Minneapolis, MN

Building Type

Museum, Visual Arts


122,000 SF

  • 2017 AIA Minnesota Honor Award

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