Emily Bruhn, image courtesy of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City announced today that it has engaged specialist consultancy Malcolm Reading Consultants (MRC) to manage the forthcoming architectural competition for the museum’s new expansion. The open international competition is expected to launch in early fall and run for six months.

“We have spent several years weighing both the needs of the museum and the community and have given careful consideration to a number of studies performed by Cooper Robertson, an urban design firm,” said Evelyn Craft Belger, Chair of the museum’s Board of Trustees. “Having explored several scenarios, the Board wholeheartedly embraces the idea of an architectural competition.”

“This competition will be a fascinating proposition for architects who love art and culture,” said Julián Zugazagoitia, Director & CEO of the Nelson-Atkins. “At the second stage of the competition, we will be looking for designs that inspire community engagement and attract new audiences through exemplary design that will best position the Nelson-Atkins to serve guests for generations to come.”

The Nelson-Atkins in Kansas City is recognized nationally and internationally as one of America’s finest art museums. It cares for a collection of more than 42,000 art objects and is best known for its Asian art, European and American paintings, photography, modern sculpture, and Native American
and Egyptian galleries.

The museum offers free admission to all and is funded entirely by private support. “We are delighted to manage this competition for the Nelson-Atkins,” said Malcolm Reading, Competition Director. “The museum cares for superlative collection, which is growing dynamically as indeed Kansas City is. Within a generation, projected visitors are likely to reach a million a year so the museum needs to prepare.”

The museum’s strategic plan underscores art as the core of its mission, supported by care for the people within the museum, a commitment to community, and responsible and ethical actions that will sustain the Nelson-Atkins into the future.

The leading global specialist in architectural competitions for museums and arts, heritage and non-profit organizations, London-based MRC has run recent competitions for the Dallas Museum of Art, Houston Endowment, the National Gallery, London, and Powerhouse Parramatta, Sydney, amongst others. Overall, the consultancy has handled more than 200 competitions worldwide, and has attracted a dedicated following of top-tier established and upcoming designers.

Architects who would like to be notified at the competition’s launch are invited to send their contact details to

PO Box 4 Cooperstown, NY 13326


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