Columbus Museum of Art Expansion

Columbus Museum of Art Expansion Columbus, Ohio

Services Provided

Master Plan
Urban Design
Construction Documentation 

People Involved

Karen McCoy
Darren Meyer
Niels Braam


2015 Columbus Downtown Commission Harrison W. Smith Award for Urban Impacting Project
2014 Ohio Chapter ASLA Merit Award for West Garden

A historic museum campus that seamlessly combines art, programming, and visitor experience.

The Columbus Museum of Art has long been a cultural anchor in Downtown Columbus. The 2010 Downtown Strategic Plan identified an opportunity to leverage the Museum and other nearby educational and cultural institutions to create a cohesive Creative Campus on the east side of Downtown.


MKSK provided master planning and design services for the museum and larger adjacent area of neighboring cultural and academic institutions, developing the museum campus in a series of phased projects. The vision for the campus was to develop it in to a tapestry of gardens and exterior galleries for public use, events, and display of permanent collection over a period of several years.


Working closely with a team of architects and specialty designers to create a seamless and accessible experience for visitors, entry and circulation sequences, educational programming, event planning, and curatorial decisions have all been addressed through a collaborative process that included the entire campus space, indoor and outdoor.

Security, facility and support services were directly addressed in the plan but aesthetically designed to preserve the experiential qualities of the museum exterior spaces.


The improvements to the campus involve a contemporary addition that both carefully complements and delicately contrasts the original historic 1931 museum building. The $33 million expansion opened in Fall 2015.