Milwaukee Art Museum Addition and Renovation
Award of Merit
Owner Milwaukee Art Museum and Milwaukee County
Lead Design Firm HGA Architects
Contractor Hunzinger Construction Co.
Structural & MEP Engineer Graef-USA
Owner’s Representative Chamberlain Group
Never before in the Milwaukee Art Museum’s history had a project of this magnitude been attempted. Coupled with the complete renovation of the Saarinen and Kahler buildings, which house 30,000 works of art in more than 125,000 sq ft of galleries, a new addition was built as part of the $34-million public-private partnership. The 16,000-sq-ft extension finally repaired the deteriorating east elevation of the Kahler addition built in the mid-1970s and reconnected the galleries to Milwaukee’s lakefront. The general contractor and self-performing construction manager had the responsibility of protecting the existing pieces of art. As part of a 28-phase project, each of the 30,000 works was moved several times while mandatory 50% relative humidity and 65° to 75° F temperatures were maintained. Working in contaminated soil as close as 10 ft to Lake Michigan, the installation of a methane mitigation system and relocation of a primary water main required a massive dewatering effort.