The MAM recently gained international recognition with the construction of the white concrete Quadracci Pavilion, designed by Santiago Calatrava (his first completed project in the United States), which opened on May 4, 2001. The pavilion was engineered by the Milwaukee-based engineering firm, Graef, while the construction manager was also Milwaukee-based, C.G. Schmidt.
The structure contains a movable, wing-like brise soleil which opens up for a wingspan of 217 feet during the day, folding over the tall, arched structure at night or during inclement weather. The brise soleil has since become a symbol for the city of Milwaukee. In addition to a gallery devoted to temporary exhibits, the pavilion houses the museum’s store and its restaurant, Cafe Calatrava. The pavilion received the 2004 Outstanding Structure Award from the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering.