Portland Museum of Art Campus Unification + Expansion


Building a Landmark for the Future



Sponsor: The Portland Museum of Art
Type: open, international, two-stage RfQ
Location: Portland, Maine
Organizers: Dovetail Design Strategists, LLC
Eligibility: Open to architects around the world. Architects will be required to form and lead a multi-disciplinary team to include accessibility, inclusivity and sustainability experts, landscape architects, and graphic designers
Fees: None
Language: English
June 1, 2022 – Competition Launch 
July 1, 2022 (3pm EST) –
Stage I RFQ submissions due 
August 2022 – Shortlist announced
28 October 2022 – Stage ll submissions due
December 2022 – Winner announced

Compensation: Up to four architect-led design teams will be selected to participate in Stage II of the Design Competition and an honorarium of $50,000 will be paid to each of the shortlisted teams who have met the Portland Museum of Art’s Stage II requirements, payable upon selection of a winning team.
Anticipaed budget: The PMA anticipates the total hard construction cost for the new facilities and surrounding landscape design will be approximately USD45M
Project sizeL 60,000 net square feet plus outdoor public gathering space.

 Design Challenge:
The Portland Museum of Art (the PMA), founded in 1882, is Maine’s largest and most visited art institution, and among the oldest museums in America. Located in the heart of downtown Portland, one of the country’s most beloved cities, the museum encompasses a full city block of historically and architecturally significant buildings. The PMA’s world-class collection includes more than 18,000 objects, including 19th-and-20th century American and European art, modern and contemporary art, and iconic works from Maine that highlight the rich artistic traditions of the state and its artists.
   The museum has outgrown its current campus due to increased visitation and several major gifts to its collection. The broadening and diversification of the artwork, record attendance prior to the pandemic and community feedback have underlined the need for more space.
   The PMA sees this as an opportunity to discover the impact a museum can have when it is built through an inclusive lens. By creating a community hub with myriad collaborative spaces, and focusing on groundbreaking approaches to art, the PMA believes it can become a place where all people feel they belong. More than just a new building, the PMA’s campus unification and expansion is a value proposition, envisioning the monumental positive impact museums can have on their communities.
   The institution’s progressive and inclusive outlook on curation, education, and engagement will be reflected through innovative and future-forward architecture. This will ensure the PMA and the region’s future is rooted in diversity, equity, accessibility, inclusivity, and sustainability. And as a result, the PMA will transform the very nature of what a museum can be.
   The PMA’s new museum wing will anchor and integrate the entire campus and double the institution’s existing size. It will be an environmentally and ecologically responsible expansion that will accommodate new collections and major exhibitions, host community events, programs, and performance space for the seeing and making of art, and will consolidate all staff offices.
   The museum’s bold and ambitious agenda will physically harness the PMA’s commitments and deep values through an architecture that will renew, revitalize and redefine a museum’s role in society. The PMA is courageous, forward-looking and intent on creating a paradigm shift for museums around the globe.
   The Portland Museum of Art Campus Unification + Expansion International Design Competition challenges architects to form a multi-disciplinary team with accessibility, inclusivity and sustainability experts, landscape architects and graphic designers to create an inclusive place that champions open expression and makes art accessible to all, a place that delivers on the promise of the PMA’s mission, Art for All. The PMA imagines an inclusive and iconic Landmark for the Future.

Kyo Bannai, Board of Trustees
Mark H.C. Bessire, Judy and Leonard Lauder Director
Milton Curry, Della & Harry MacDonald Dean of the University of Southern California School of Architecture, Principal, Milton Curry ProjectStudio
Eileen Gillespie, Vice President, Board of Trustees, Visual Artist
Cyrus Hagge, President, Board of Trustees, Owner, Project Management, Inc.
Jocelyn Handy, Board of Trustees
Elizabeth Jabar, Board of Trustees, Lawry Family Director of Civic Engagement and Partnerships, Colby College
Bob Ludwig, President and Chief Mastering Engineer, Gateway Mastering Studios
Marcia Minter, Board of Trustees, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Indigo Arts Alliance
Theresa Secord, Board of Trustees, Executive Director at Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance
Jack Soley, Board of Trustees, Partner, East Brown Cow
Monica von Schmalensee, Partner, White Arkitekter
Sara Zewde, Founding Principal, Studio Zewde, Assistant Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Design
Susanna Sirefman, Competition Director and Jury Advisor, President, Dovetail Design Strategists