Friday, December 4, 2020

Albright-Knox continues construction on expansion project

Foundation for Gundlach building underway
By Kiera Durning

            The Albright-Knox Art Gallery is continuing to undergo construction with expansion plans continuing into 2022.

            Currently, the foundation of the new Gundlach building is being constructed on the Elmwood Avenue side of the art gallery.

            According to Gilbane Building Co., the project’s management partner, “the construction pit that now occupies the space where the parking lot was located will soon form the foundation for the subbasement of the new Gundlach building.”

            The new building is named after Jeffrey Gundlach, a Buffalo native who donated $52.5 million toward the total project.

            The first steel beams were put in place during the spring, according to Gilbane Building. The total project is slated to be completed in 2022

            Through the construction, the Elmwood Avenue location has remained closed.

            Despite the closure, the museum utilizes its Northland location Fridays through Sundays for its current show, Swoon: Seven Contemplations. Virtual classes and workshops by Albright-Knox staff also are available.

             The expansion project, AK360, began with OMA, an award-winning architectural company, that finalized a design being approved by the Albright-Knox board of directors and Gilbane Building.  

            The finalized design introduces an expanded campus, allowing more than 30,000 square feet of gallery space to be added.

            According to the museum’s website, the construction will allow, “more than double the number of works the museum can display at any given time, including state-of-the-art space for presenting special exhibitions.”

            There will be added  space for educational purposes, dining facilities, and events, to further ensure visitor satisfaction.

            According to the Albright-Knox communications team, “the new Gundlach Building  will add 30,000 square feet of space for displaying special exhibitions and artworks from the museum’s world-renowned collection of modern and contemporary art.”  

             The Gundlach Building will have a sculpture promenade that wraps around the premises, giving on-lookers and museum goers a view of Delaware Park and Elmwood Avenue.

             The museum is also renaming the 1905-building after the late Robert G. Wilmers, former M&T Bank chairman and CEO, and his wife, Elisabeth.

            There will also be an incorporation of a bridge that connects the museum to Iroquois Drive  off oElmwood Avenue. The scenic bridge will be named in honor of John J. Albright, one of the founders of the museum.

             The museum also plans on adding an underground parking structure, transforming the current outside parking into a green landscape.

            Construction-related questions can be sent to