Speed Art Museum

Louisville, Kentucky

The Speed Art Museum is a collection of buildings existing on a corner of the grounds at the University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky. Constructed over the past 83 years, the centerpiece to the museum campus is a 1923 neoclassical building that announces the museum along South Third Street, and marks the northwest edge of the University. The project entails a targeted renovation of the existing complex, as well as a series of new galleries intended to stitch the museum complex together as a whole.

Revitalizing a historic museum requires an often complex, yet delicate act of intervention. Additions and expansion may seem to offer limitless possibilities, however sensitive museum expansion should not simply involve adding new wings, or new limbs, to the old body—especially in the context of existing historic fabric. With a distinct yet deferential posture against the existing gallery buildings, the new Speed Art Museum is able to reinvent itself through a reflection of the new against the historic.

Executed by Yo-ichiro Hakomori as Architect and Partner at wHY Architecture