The Transformation

The Transformation

From its inception in 2013, The Bass has embarked on a $12 million project to transform the museum’s visitor experience. From an expanded and more dynamic physical space to a new visual identity, the new Bass unveils a building for larger exhibitions, engaging education activities and a robust collection program this year.

The renovation expands the internal structure of the museum without altering the existing footprint, in order to create an almost 50 percent increase in programmable space, including three new galleries, a museum store and cafe, and a designated education facility to better serve expanded programs and increased attendance.

Exhibition Spaces – 12,800 sq. ft.

The new Bass features four new galleries, for a total of eight, in addition to several connecting spaces, to host temporary exhibitions and permanent collection display. Three new galleries will be added and one will be renovated on the first floor for a total of six exhibition spaces on the main level. A second gallery will be added to the upper level along with a sizable lobby adjoining the two upstairs galleries, proving three exhibitions spaces, two formal galleries, on the second floor.  One of the galleries on the main floor will be dedicated to displays of the museum’s permanent collection, featuring a series of rotating artist projects that present works in dialogue with the collection. In total, these new configurations create an additional 4,100 sq. ft. from an existing 8,700 sq. ft.

Education Spaces – 5,000 sq. ft.

The new configuration of the museum creates a designated space for education programming. The Creativity Center features a multi-media lab, two classrooms, administrative offices and a reception lobby, creating a full-service education wing that provides unprecedented capabilities for the museum’s education initiatives and curriculum. In total, this new configuration creates an additional 4,000 sq. feet from an existing 1,000 sq. ft. The Creativity Center also features an outdoor terrace providing an additional 1,000 sq. ft.

Social Spaces – 6,000 sq. ft.

In addition to new configurations for the courtyard, restrooms, stairways and elevators, The Bass features new spaces for the café and museum store. The museum entrances are also reconfigured, to again use the historic entrance off of Collins Park, originally designed by Russell Pancoast in the 1930s. In total, these new configurations create an additional 2,750 sq. ft. from an existing 3,250 sq. ft.

In September 2016, The Bass launched a ten-year initiative to grow the museum’s holdings of international contemporary art within the permanent collection. The initiative was celebrated with two inaugural acquisitions of public art; Miami Mountain, 2016 by Ugo Rondinone and Eternity Now, 2015 by Sylvie Fleury.

The Bass worked in collaboration with design studio Project Projects to reinvigorate the museum’s visual identity, encompassing a new logo, name, and branding. By appropriating a moniker long used by locals, the “Bass Museum of Art” now becomes “The Bass,” and the new logo reflects the name change. In addition, The Bass launches a new website, www.thebass.org. Project Projects is also responsible for refreshed and on-brand way-finding markers throughout the new museum.

The Bass has reengaged Arata Isozaki of Tokyo as the lead design consultant for the project. Isozaki was the architect of the first museum expansion in 2001 that added a new addition of 16,000 square feet to the original historic structure. Other major projects by Arata Isozaki include the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the Olympic Stadium in Barcelona, the Team Disney Building in Orlando, The Guggenheim SoHo, the Tokyo University of Art and Design, the Centural-Art & Museum Complex in Kyiv, Ukraine and the Qatar National Convention Centre in Doha, Qatar.

David Gauld, who was an integral part of Isozaki’s design team for the 2001 museum expansion, is the principal architect of the current transformation. Gauld has collaborated with Isozaki on several notable projects, including the Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, the Brooklyn Museum of Art Auditorium and the Center of Science and Industry in Columbus, Ohio.


The Bass recognizes the generous public support and private donations that continue to fund and make the transformation possible, including a $7.5 million grant from The City of Miami Beach, a $1 million gift from the Lindemann family, a $1 million gift from the Lieberman family, a $1 million gift from the Cejas family, an Anonymous gift of an undisclosed amount, two grants from The State of Florida totaling over $700,000, and a total of $500,000 in other donations.