Walker Art Center

Campus Renovation

Big Changes to the Walker/Minneapolis Sculpture Garden Campus

2015

  1. Summer 2015
    sculpture removal begins
  2. Fall 2015
    sculptures removed
  3. Spring 2016
    Garden closed
  4. Summer 2017
    grand reopening
2017

Sculptures are being moved. Construction fencing is up. And big changes are afoot. The renovation of the Walker Art Center/Minneapolis Sculpture Garden campus is underway. This ambitious project will bring a unified, one-campus feel to this 19-acre expanse of urban green space. Notable changes include a new entry pavilion for the Walker and reconstruction of the 26-year-old Garden, the greening of Hennepin Avenue, and the addition of hundreds of new trees to the Walker hillside and the Garden.

The Walker will remain open during the entire renovation project, with the completion of the new entrance anticipated in November 2016. Nearly all Garden artworks have been placed in storage during construction, and the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden will be closed to the public until June 2017. Other beloved favorites, including works by Frank Gehry, Mark di Suvero, and others, will be accessible to the public through short- and long-term loans to community partners. The Garden will be closed from spring 2016 until its reopening in summer of 2017, when the vision for the 19-acre Walker Art Center and Minneapolis Sculpture Garden campus will be realized. For more information and to sign up for project and schedule updates from our partners at the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, click here.

  • The Walker Galleries, Cinema, and Theater will remain open throughout construction.

  • The Sculpture Garden, including Spoonbridge and Cherry, is closed until June 2017.

  • Other Sculpture Garden artworks will be visible in the community.

New Artworks

Art Around Town

Several of our most beloved sculptures have been relocated through Minneapolis to remain on view to the public. We are proud to partner with our neighbors in Minneapolis to celebrate art in our community.

Vision

An illuminated entrance

The entry pavilion along Vineland Place will create a new hub for campus visitors and features a new dining experience and a dramatic, illuminated wall for art that will host rotating commissions by contemporary artists from around the world. Atop the pavilion is a terrace with views overlooking the Sculpture Garden.

A new entry that blends into its surroundings

When seen from the sky, the new entry pavilion nearly disappears into its surroundings. The pavilion’s new green roof terrace offers views down the main pathway of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden to Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen’s iconic fountain-sculpture Spoonbridge and Cherry (1985–1988). A bosque of honeylocust trees, an echo of the current grove, allows dappled light to filter down onto a new outdoor terrace. New heated pathways wind through the new landscape allowing visitors to extend their Garden experience across the street to view works such as James Turrell’s Sky Pesher, 2005 (2005).

A natural amphitheater

A newly reshaped landscape will feature a gently crowned hill that creates a more natural amphitheater with expanded sight lines to events like our annual Rock the Garden concerts and special installments of Summer Music & Movies.

A bar and cafe, with hillside views

The new entry pavilion at Vineland Place looks west to a new bar and dining experience. A dramatically sculpted ceiling features skylights for daytime illumination while floor-to-ceiling glass expanses allow the surrounding landscape and Minneapolis Sculpture Garden to blur the distinction between inside and outside.

Trees define impromptu event spaces

New volumes of trees, some with a clearing in the middle, will host Walker programs and activities as well as offer shade and respite. Situated on the southwest edge of the campus, many groves offer dramatic views of the downtown skyline and the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.

The view from Cargill Lounge in autumn

The dramatic window of the Cargill Lounge will frame the landscape’s new hillside that features groves of maples, pines, and birches that offer changing seasonal color displays as well as a new perennial flower garden.

Greening Hennepin

Along Hennepin Avenue, new landscape features will include additional trees, grasses, and shrubs that will replace much of the current concrete and granite hardscape—gestures that will envelope the Walker and return it to its garden setting.

A new, visible entry to the Walker from the underground garage

The renovations will include a dramatic new illuminated entry from the Walker’s convenient underground parking garage, operated by the City of Minneapolis.

The view of the new entrance and lobby

Visitors will take a direct path to Vineland Place with access to the Walker’s galleries, cinema, restaurant and bar, and to the world-famous Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.

The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, reimagined

Created in 1988 through a partnership between the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and the Walker, the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden will get a dramatic makeover. In addition to new plantings, walkways, retaining walls, and other highly visible structural improvements, the renovation will involve important repairs to irrigation, drainage, and stormwater systems, increased accessibility, and energy-efficient upgrades.

Before
After
Before
After