On October 16th, the Philadelphia Museum of Art opened Stir, a new restaurant designed by Gehry Partners. The 76-seat space—which features a sculptural canopy of Douglas fir—along with an adjacent 160-seat cafeteria for more casual dining, are the first completed elements of a much larger, ongoing overhaul of the museum.
The two dining facilities are a small part of the $196-million “core project,” a renovation and expansion designed by Gehry and contained almost entirely within the footprint of the 1928 Greek Revival structure. The work, which began in April 2017, entails an upgrade of building systems, creation of 23,000 square feet of new galleries and 67,000 square feet of public space, including a grand, multi-story-tall “Forum.” One section of a 640-foot-long east-west walkway, enclosed with Guastavino vaults and for decades used as storage, will open to museumgoers next April. Completion of the entire core project is slated for 2020.