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Portland Museum of Art names four finalists to design new building

After receiving 104 submissions, the museum director said, “We had no idea we’d get this kind of response.”

PORTLAND, Maine — When the Portland Museum of Art announced its intention to construct a new building next door on the site formerly occupied by the Children’s Museum of Maine, the word went out to architectural firms around the world. 

The PMA was looking to hire a team that would create “a landmark for the future.”

After receiving submissions from 104 firms in twenty countries, the museum announced on Thursday it has narrowed the field to four finalists. 

“Any time a museum puts this out, it’s a major thing,” PMA director Mark Bessire told NEWS CENTER Maine. “But we had no idea we’d get this kind of response.” 

Bessire says he was particularly impressed by the quality and the diversity of the submissions.

The four teams in the field of finalists have impressive credentials. One designed the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. Another designed the Adidas North American headquarters in Portland, Oregon.

Bessire joins us on 207 to show us those two buildings, as well as some others the finalists have designed. He also talks about next steps for the PMA. 

Watch our conversation to learn more.

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