Building Updates

Philadelphia Contemporary is building a program of pop-up exhibitions and performances across the city of Philadelphia as it seeks a permanent site on which to build a long-term home. The building will be specifically designed to accommodate both visual and performance art as well as video, sound art and spoken word. Philadelphia Contemporary aims to create a building that embraces the emerging reality that artists are working across multiple disciplines.

Check this page for updates on the building process.

+ Architecture Jury

Philadelphia Contemporary’s Architecture Jury is a group of fourteen experts who represent the neighboring communities, the City of Philadelphia, the design community, the arts community, museum professionals, the institution, and its funders. The jury plays an active role in all parts of the selection and design process, and helped Philadelphia Contemporary decide on a final architect.

+ Consultants

Expert consultants assist the Architecture Jury in its decision-making process during the jury meetings in a non-voting capacity.


+ Building FAQ

Where is Philadelphia Contemporary located?
We are building a program of pop-up exhibitions and performances across the city of Philadelphia and its immediate surroundings as we seek a permanent site on which to build a long-term home.

Why does Philadelphia Contemporary need a building?
Philadelphia Contemporary wants a home for a number of reasons. One of them is pure practicality—it’s easier to mount visual art exhibitions, especially, when you have a dedicated space. We also want to create a sense of community around our projects, a hub where visual, performance, and spoken word artists can interact, and where the public can experience the synergy of different artists working and presenting together. Lastly, we feel there is a gap in the cultural infrastructure in Philadelphia that a new space could fill. There is no large-scale, column-free gallery for temporary exhibitions of contemporary art. So we hope to be able to rectify that with our building.

Regardless, public art will remain central to our mission; the construction of a dedicated Philadelphia Contemporary building won’t detract from that. The goal is simply to expand the possibilities for what we can bring to Philadelphia.


October 29, 2018

Philadelphia Contemporary is pleased to announce the selection of Johnston Marklee as Design Architects, working in association with MGA Partners as Architect of Record, for its future permanent home. The decision is the culmination of an extensive search by a 14-member jury including community leaders, city officials, and members of the arts, design, and spoken word communities.

Johnston Marklee, based in Los Angeles and founded by partners Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee, has received more than 30 major awards for their residential, commercial, and institutional work.

“We envision Philadelphia Contemporary to be a model for the twenty-first-century museum wherein there are no boundaries between art and the public,” said Johnston Marklee partner Sharon Johnston, FAIA. “It will be an environment to stage events, from ephemeral spoken word performances to traditional, large-scale exhibitions; a social space for interaction; and a safe space for repose.”

Press Release