November 2011 rendering showing the addition from the west, with the existing Mario Botta-designed museum building in the foreground.

November 2011 rendering showing the addition from the west, with the existing Mario Botta-designed museum building in the foreground.

Credit: MIR and Snohetta

Happy birthday to Mario Botta! The Swiss architect turns 71 years old today, according to Wikipedia.

Botta designed the 1995 San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) building, which is currently undergoing a major expansion project by New York- and Oslo-based Snøhetta with local firm EHDD. Last fall, the museum released renderings of the new staircase that would connect the Botta and Snøhetta structures, but would demolish Botta's staircase. His "oculous," however, would be preserved. Good thing, too—it's become such a prominent symbol for SFMOMA that this this is instantly recognizable:

(#Aprilfools)

The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art in Charlotte, N.C., the architect's only other built project in the states, is currently displaying an exhibition of Botta's work.

Homepage image: Sanyam Bahga/Wikimedia Commons