Although the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) was already a major destination in the state, it faced a challenge familiar to museums: a lack of social spaces. A museum expansion removed some of the open spaces on the VMFA campus that had been traditionally used by neighbors. After renovations, the museum wanted to re-establish itself as a resource for community engagement in the arts and a hub for tourism.
Project for Public Spaces worked with VMFA to transform the museum grounds into active, vital, and well-managed public spaces. Working with museum staff, stakeholders, neighbors, and the public, the team developed a program and concept plan for the museum's outdoor spaces, creating a welcoming environment and encouraging community use. Recommendations were prioritized for selected outdoor spaces based on the community needs, while other improvements and amenities were designed to be incorporated in phases. Now, in addition to public art displayed permanently in the Museum gardens, amenities allow people to spend time on museum grounds.
Place Evaluation & User Analysis
Community Engagement & Visioning
Place Plans & Design