The SFMOMA opened its new Rooftop Garden to the media this morning and 7x7 got to take a sneak peak. A project twenty years in the making, the garden consists of several new spaces designed by San Francisco's Jensen Architects. The Sculpture Garden, Pavilion, and Garden Terrace sit atop the MOMA garage, connected to the main building by a bridge lined with large windows overlooking the streets. The enclosed pavilion houses sculpture not suited for exposure to the outdoors—and a Blue Bottle Coffee bar—while the terrace and garden house several large pieces that can withstand the elements. The large glass windows enclosing two sides of the pavilion can be opened on sunny days to make the space feel even more open than it already does.
The garden is intentionally sparse, a sea of gray—accentuated by the gloom of today's morning rain—spotted with flashes of green in order to accentuate the sculpture but leave you feel as if you're in a downtown oasis. The MOMA has enlisted lichenologist Tim Milliken to ensure that over the next twenty years, lichen growth will transform the gray lava rock walls into something a little less cold and unfeeling.
The current installation in the outdoor spaces mixes work from both young and well established artists, including French sculptor Louise Bourgeois, Bangalore-based Ranjani Shettar, American sculptor Joel Shapiro, and feminist artist Kiki Smith. Munoz's Conversation Piece N.Y. (1, 2, and 3), housed inside the pavilion, is among the more striking works, along with Ellsworth Kelly's massive Stele I and Alexander Calder's playful Big Crinkly. Inside the fifth floor galleries you'll find a reinstallation of Between Art and Life, showing some of the contemporary works from the museum's collection, including Rauschenberg's Port of Entry and Andrea Zittel's very cool A to Z 1995 Travel Trailer Unit Customized by Andrea Zittel and Charlie White.
The Rooftop Garden will make its public debut on Sunday, and admission will be free all day.