Minneapolis Institute of Arts – Target Wing and Interior Renovations

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Reconfiguring existing galleries significantly increased display space and created a more contiguous viewing experience

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Completion Date

157,000 SF (115,000 expansion, 42,000 SF renovation)

Project Type
Renovation, Expansion, Museum

Professional Credits
Associate Architect: RSP Limited

Improvements that serve the public and the staff

The four-story, 115,000-SF expansion, known as the Target Wing, offers new public facilities such as a ground floor education center with a library and study rooms for photography and works on paper, and a 300-seat reception hall on the top floor. Because the intermediate floors  align with the original building, we took the opportunity to re-organize 42,000 SF of existing galleries to improve the visitor experience and greatly increase the number of objects that can be displayed. Doubling temporary exhibit galleries also increases the museum’s audience.

Character that balances traditional and modern architecture

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, one of the nation’s leading encyclopedic art museums, occupies a distinguished Beaux Arts building designed by McKim Mead & White and two 1970s modern additions by the Japanese architect Kenzo Tange. Our challenge was to design a semi-detached wing compatible with both. Our design uses similar colors and materials and breaks down the scale by articulating the facades since the museum required that the new wing be largely windowless.   

Re-organizing the interiors to gain usable space

While the outward appearance of the museum’s expansion is its most visible asset, the success of the project hinged on how we re-organized and renovated the interiors. Within the expanded and renovated space, we added 34 new galleries and gained nearly 40% new exhibit space for the museum. To meet today’s museum standards, renovations to back-of-house storage, object evaluation and a new climate-controlled loading dock improved how the Museum operates. In addition, the Target Wing’s education center and reception hall, can operate while the museum is closed, increasing potential revenue and serving the community.    

Karen Nichols, FAIA

Principal, Design Practice Leader
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Robert Blaser, AIA

Principal, Design Practice Leader
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