TAMPA — The long-awaited Tampa Museum of Art, conceived in an effort to revitalize the city's downtown waterfront district, finally opened to the public on Saturday, February 6. Located along the Hillsborough River, the museum is adjacent to the newly opened Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, as well another property that will house the future Glazer Children's Museum.
"This is a new and very important public space for the city of Tampa and I truly believe it's going to be the focal point of cultural activity and family fun for generations to come," Mayor Pam Iorio announced at Saturday's ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The 66,000-square-foot structure cost $26.6 million and was designed by Stanley Saitowitz of San Francisco’s Natoma Architects. Saitowitz describes the building as, "a hyphen between the earth and sky,” a neutral space whose intention is not to compete with the art.
The building, also known as the Cornelia Corbett Center, is distinguished by a two-layer aluminum curtain wall perforated with 900,000 three-inch circles on four-inch centers, that wraps the exterior and some of the interior. Other modern features include translucent ceilings, polished concrete floors, an exterior sculpture gallery and 12,000-square-feet of LED lights on the south facade.
The Florida museum is showcasing a traveling exhibit of artwork by French artist Henri Matisse through April 18.