Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD)

San Francisco, California

Project Info
Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD)
San Francisco, California
Completion Date: 2006
Square Footage: 20,000

2006 AIA South Atlantic Region Merit Award
2006 AIA North Carolina Honor Award
2006 National Organization of Minority Architects Design Award

The Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) occupies 20,000 SF on portions of three floors of the St. Regis Hotel and Residences (designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merril). Located at the corner of Third and Mission Streets in San Francisco, MoAD is in the heart of the Yerba Buena cultural district.

The entry is marked by an “intervention” expressed through the intersection of the orthogonal city grid and the angled axis of the orange canopy that visually guides visitors into the Museum. The Mission Street facade features a monumental image of hope as seen through the innocent eyes of an African child. Like the museum itself, the image is a collage of disparate voices, histories and traditions – a mosaic of photographs that begin to tell the story of the African Diaspora.

The organization of the museum’s program within the three levels was informed by the pre-existing tenant allocations set by the Tower developer and architect. Due to the limited ground floor area, the ticketing and museum store are designed as one open, flexible environment. As a single, fluid space, the ground floor can be readily adapted to specific events and can easily serve as a pre-function area for the multi-purpose space above. The second floor features the immersive exhibits, the multi-purpose room and public support spaces. Traveling exhibits and administrative offices are located on the third floor.