Man and woman inside the de Young museum

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de Young Museum
August 21, 2014

Architecture + Grounds

de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park

Opened on October 15, 2005, the new de Young, designed by Swiss architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron, provides open and light-filled spaces that facilitate and enhance the art-viewing experience. Constructed of warm, natural materials including copper, stone, wood and glass, the de Young weaves into and complements its natural surroundings. Ribbons of windows erase the boundary between the museum interior and the lush natural environment outside, and four public entrances segue naturally from the park’s pathways, welcoming visitors from all directions.

The building’s dramatic copper facade is perforated and textured to replicate the impression made by light filtering through a tree canopy, creating an artistic abstraction on the exterior of the museum that resonates with the de Young's tree-filled park setting. The building's copper skin, chosen for its changeable quality through oxidation, will assume a rich patina over time that will blend gracefully with the surrounding natural environment.

The northeast corner of the building features a 144-foot tower that gently spirals from the ground floor and aligns at the top with the grid formed by the streets of the Richmond and Sunset neighborhoods surrounding the park. A public observation floor offers unparalleled panoramic views of San Francisco, the Pacific Ocean, the Golden Gate, Marin Headlands and the lovely landscaping of Golden Gate Park.

The outdoor environment of the new de Young features a public sculpture garden and terrace beneath a cantilevered roof; a children’s garden; and landscaping that creates an organic link between the building and the surrounding environment on all four sides. The landscape design integrates historic elements from the old de Young—including the sphinx sculptures, the Pool of Enchantment, and the original palm trees—as well as sandstone, redwood, ferns and other plants and materials relevant to the site, creating a museum that is permeable, open, and inviting to the public.

The de Young has commissioned several leading contemporary artists, including Gerhard Richter, James Turrell, Andy Goldsworthy, and Kiki Smith to create site-specific works for the new building.

Dining & Shopping

The de Young Café offers American and European classic cuisine featuring menu items crafted with seasonal ingredients from local purveyors. Under the direction of Lucas Schoemaker, president and executive chef of McCalls Catering & Events, the Café provides exceptional dining with unique menus often themed around special exhibitions on view. The de Young Museum Store offers a vast array of art books and museum publications, artisan-made decorative objects and jewelry, unique home accessories, and exclusive gifts for all occasions.

Tickets to the museum can be purchased on-site and online at

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