The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art was the first museum on the west coast dedicated to 20th century art. It first opened in 1935 but underwent a major renovation and opened a new museum facility designed by renowned Swiss architect Mario Botta in January of 1995. Botta used a lot of historical influences, but the most prevalent is definitely the influence of Roman architecture. The two most obvious arguments for that are the fact that the building is a civicly themed building and the fact that it dominates the surrounding area. But some the other arguments that can be made are the size and shape, and the unusual addition of an oculus in the roof.
It also fits into the grid of the city streets surrounding it, much in the way Romans organized their buildings. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (hereafter referred to as the SFMOMA) is most defiantly a civicly oriented building. Museums usually are, as they hold treasures for the people of the city to admire, but the SFMOMA goes beyond that. It is a symbol of pride for the people of San Francisco, and is known throughout the country as such. It was called A vibrant new heart for art in San Francisco, by Morton Beebe in Smithsonian Magazine, July 1995.
Millions of people go through the doors to see the constantly changing exhibitions in the many galleries. As the meuseuem was being renovated, this was probably a consideration. So, taking in to account that people would come from around the world to see not only what was inside, but the building itself, Botta designed a structure that was not only efficient, but pleasing to view as well. That is why the SFMOMA is a civicly themed building.