The Virginia Museum of Fine Art designed by Rick Mather Architects is located in Virginia, United States. The Virginia Museum of Fine Art (VMFA) opened last week after undergoing a $150 million makeover by UK-based architect Rick Mather. The commission, which is the US-born architect’s first major project in America, adds a 165,000 sq ft modern wing that seamlessly sews together the oft-renovated museum while correcting some of its flaws. The expansion doubles the museum’s gallery space, creates a new entrance on Boulevard, the main street, and adds a sculpture park to the 13-½-acre complex.
With the parking lot gone, Mather shifted the museum’s entrance from the rear of the building to its original location on Boulevard, creating a proper front door. Entrance to the building is through the new limestone wing, which is joined to the existing structure by a full-height, top-lit atrium that creates a large and welcoming lobby. This space is bookended by two 40-feet-by-70-feet windows that open the building to the landscape, creating expansive vistas of the garden beyond. From the atrium, glass staircases and sky bridges provide access to well-proportioned galleries. In designing the garden, which incorporates waterfalls, reflecting pools and terraces, Mather took inspiration from the Tivoli Gardens in Rome.