Civic/Cultural Briscoe Western Art Museum of
Project Info

Briscoe Western Art Museum

San Antonio, TX


A River walk landmark — the San Antonio Library from 1930 until 1968 and then the Hertzberg Circus Museum until 1996 — has become the home for the Dolph and Janey Briscoe Western Art Museum. The reborn museum celebrates the art, people and history of the great American West, with an emphasis on San Antonio and the South Texas region. Its renovation respects the building’s historic architecture while providing 58,000-square-feet of gallery and exhibition areas divided between four floors, in addition to a new event pavilion. A sculpture garden incorporated into the adjacent courtyard serves as an area for respite as well as events. The integrity of the existing building’s historic character was both restored and revitalized with exterior renovations completed by Ford Powell & Carson Architects. Careful reinterpretation of interior space preserves views to the San Antonio River while creating new views at unique vantage points. Reinterpretation in materiality, a palette of limestone and copper ties the new addition and existing historic museum together, making for a complementary transition between old and new.
Photography: Dror Baldinger & Lara Swimmer

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The Briscoe Western Art Museum is a complicated building, complex building, that does many things very well. There are different spaces on the interior that all relate to their program in a unique way and also have to negotiate between being either in the historic building or in the addition next to it.
Juliane Wolf
Juror, AIA San Antonio Design Awards