San Francisco, CA

The M.H. de Young Memorial Museum by Herzog & de Meuron is a remarkable revival of a building that no longer exists. The original museum, which opened in 1895, was an outgrowth of a fair modeled on the Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition the previous year known as the California Midwinter International Exposition of 1894. The building was completely destroyed, however, in 1989 by the Loma Prieta earthquake.


Unlike the old museum, the new design consists of a bold striking structure that is as much part of the exhibit as the art it contains. A visitor’s experience begins from outside of the museum. The landscape was designed to create a pleasant, functional environment that would allow visitors to enjoy California’s welcoming climate. Specific features are a public sculpture garden, a terrace beneath a cantilevered roof, and a children’s garden. The rest of the landscape design focuses on creating a link between the building and its surroundings through historic elements from the original de Young Museum that include original palm trees along with the Pool of Enchantment and sphinx structures that have been standing since the opening of the 19th century museum.


The Museum’s project goals included the buildings be designed and certified to a minimum LEED Platinum rating with a target of Platinum. We also provided assistance in Façade Modelling and design integration. Green Features:, Radiant Heating & Cooling, Green Roofs, Natural Ventilation, Photovoltaics, Gray and Rainwater Harvesting, Displacement Ventilation – Mix Mode


Type: New Construction Size: 410,000 SF
Architect: Herzog and De Meurom Architects


601 Montgomery Street, Suite 1450
San Francisco, CA 94111


415 987 3337