BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Brainstorming for the future. The public weighed in on the next chapter of Buffalo’s Albright-Knox Art Gallery.
The expansion project – dubbed “AK360” won’t be complete for the next several years, and it’s in the very preliminary states. But the art gallery and the expansion architect had one question from the audience. What does the public want from its museum?
Janne Siren, the Director of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, said, “This is Buffalo’s museum and our number one objective is to have this be a collectively owned campus development project.”
On Tuesday night, at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery had a list of needs, things like a loading dock and a larger gallery space. But they also had a list of wants, which was up to the public.
“Because we want to be very open ended about it in the sense that maybe we didn’t cover all of the bases of the discussion topics and we want people to invite new discussion topics that we didn’t think of.”, said Siren.
At the forum, groups were broken off into individual “topic” tables. A representative from the museum and the architect collected valuable thoughts. Sticky-note by sticky-note, thoughts were recorded and amassed at the corner of the room.
Siren said, “It could be about the site plan, and the relationship of buildings to landscape, it could be about educational programs and what types of Western New York public is looking in that realm.”
One of the attendees, Amherst resident Jeanne Ernst, said, “This is a pretty important piece of making it an overall better place for people to come and enjoy.”
The project architect, OMA, showed off some of their previous work, and told the audience their vision for the expansion, and how they want it to take advantage of Buffalo’s rich architectural history, as well as the local park system.
Shohei Shigematsu, the architect for the project and with OMA, said, “It’s quite critical for us to precede the design but also as an institution to reflect as much as possible what everyone wants.”
For more information on how you can suggest ideas, go to: https://www.albrightknox.org/ak360/share-your-thoughts/
The next public forum will be held on November 1st, location TBD.