The Norton Expansion

About The Project

The Museum’s expansion, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Lord Norman Foster of the architectural firm Foster + Partners, is the most comprehensive in the institution’s 78-year history. Dramatic changes include boldly re-orienting the main entrance to South Dixie Highway , which restores the symmetrical east-west campus axis created in 1941 by original architect Marion Sims Wyeth, and in the process transforms how the Museum engages with the community for the better.

The new 59,000 square-foot Kenneth C. Griffin Building is fronted by Heyman Plaza, which is anchored by the 19-foot-high sculpture, Typewriter Eraser, Scale X (1999), by Claes Oldenburg and his wife, Coosje van Bruggen. Shaded by both vegetation and the building, people can meet, gather, or simply contemplate here before or after a Museum visit.  From its calming Michelle and Joseph Jacobs Reflecting Pool to a shimmering canopy that appears to float above, the Plaza will become a memorable gateway to the Museum. 

The building and accompanying lush sculpture garden, which open to the public on February 9, 2019, enable the Norton to exhibit more art, present more programs, and provide a growing, but culturally underserved community with a breathtaking, brighter, more welcoming, up-to-date center for the public to engage with -- and enjoy -- art and culture.  

Features of the new campus include:

  • The Kenneth C. Griffin Building that reorients the Norton’s entrance to the main thoroughfare of South Dixie Highway
  • 12,000 square feet of new galleries – a 35% increase
  • The William Randolph Hearst Education Center, with a gallery for student art and two new classrooms for adults, families, and school children
  • The 210-seat Stiller Family Foundation Auditorium with state-of-the-art audio-visual capability for performances, lectures, films, and other activities
  • An elegant new restaurant with indoor and outdoor dining spaces
  • A trend-setting Museum store
  • The majestic Ruth and Carl Shapiro Great Hall that will serve as the Museum's “living room” and community space
  • An artist-in-residence program quartered in restored historic houses on Cranesnest Way on the southern edge of the Museum campus.
  • The Pamela and Robert B. Goergen Garden featuring a  great lawn, outdoor sculpture collection,  several smaller gardens, and opportunities for seating and reflection creating, in Lord Foster’s words, “a museum in a garden”
  • Beautiful new meeting and celebration spaces

Project Milestones   

Masterplan approved by Board of Trustees
December 2013
Ceremonial Groundbreaking  
February 6, 2016
Topping Out Ceremony    
June 27, 2017
Grand Opening    
February 2019