Wichita Art Museum

The original museum was designed by Clarence Stein in 1925 then further developed in 1975 by architect Edward Larabee Barnes. Schaefer Architecture was pleased to design Wichita Art Museum’s third major renovation which increased the museum’s space by 43%. A transparent glass bridge spans through the lobby and dramatically presents the “Persian Seaform Installation” creation by Dale Chihuly. This area is affectionately known as the Chihuly Bridge in honor of the artist.

The lobby is conceived as a space for all seasons, generously endowed with daylight, and an opening to the beautifully landscaped Art Garden which is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The garden contains 100 trees, nearly 600 shrubs and more than 20,000 perennials and grasses.  The transparency of the lobby nicely contrasts with monolithic masonry enclosing curatorial spaces designed to safeguard the artwork and artifacts, fitting seamlessly into the temperament of Barnes’ modernist design. The entrance and lobby provides generous daylighting and access to a liberally landscaped plaza with multiple sculptures. The lobby flows into the magnificent Great Hall on the upper level which is the primary social venue within the facility. Meeting rooms, curatorial work areas, the gift shop and restaurant were a part of this project. The entrance is more accessible to patrons and tenders a greater sense of hospitality.