215 Park Avenue South, 1901
New York, NY 10003
212 962 6307

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

Cleveland, OH




The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum


Landscape Architect:
James Corner Field Operations

Programming and Documentation:
Cooper Robertson

L'Observatoire International

Structural Engineering:


Addition: 50,000 GSF
Renovation: 36,100 GSF



PAU won the invited global competition to design an expansion of I.M. Pei’s original building, completed in 1995. Competing against an exclusive list of invited architects, including several Pritzker laureates—PAU’s design was selected on the strength of its distinct palimpsest design approach that reimagined and extended Pei’s architecture. Instead of creating a wholly separate object, PAU’s design brings new life and dimension to Pei’s original pyramid as well as the larger site, with new internal and external public spaces intended to immerse visitors in the future of Rock & Roll. The expansion will roughly double the size of the museum, including a new entry lobby and public space; an acoustically-designed and sub-divisible performance, classroom, and 1,350 person event venue; reinvented permanent and temporary exhibition space; new food and beverage offerings; replacement office space; and a complete rethinking of circulation systems that extend into the landscape.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame describes itself as “the foremost popular culture museum in the world,” however, the Hall is much more than a museum—it is an entity that punches well above its weight. From acting as a classroom for local students, to providing a venue for cherished family events, to hosting performances by the world’s greatest Rock talents, the Hall is a pan-cultural blockbuster that enriches the lives of everyday people and reminds them of their potential to create their “own path in music and in life.”

PAU’s concept for this significant expansion takes the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s mission seriously, transforming the Museum into a holistic campus, expanding its facilities to meet the demands of its mandate: showcasing not just the past, but also the present, and future of Rock & Roll. Located on the edge of Lake Erie, our design welcomes visitors by pulling three forces together, the City, the Lake, and the Pyramid. The expansion brings the museumgoers experience in line with Rock & Roll in the 21st Century, with a redefined interior and exterior expression that is both inclusive and accessible for Rock and Roll fans from all over the world.

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