The original Dali Museum opened in St. Petersburg in 1982, after community leaders rallied to bring the Morses’ superlative collection of Dali works to the area. The Dali’s stunning new building opened on January 11, 2011. Designed by architect Yann Weymouth of HOK, it combines the rational with the fantastical: a simple rectangle with 18-inch thick hurricane-proof walls out of which erupts a large free-form geodesic glass bubble known as the “enigma”. The Enigma, which is made up of 1,062 triangular pieces of glass, stands 75 feet at its tallest point, a twenty-first century homage to the dome that adorns Dali’s museum in Spain. Inside, the Museum houses another unique architectural feature – a helical staircase – recalling Dali’s obsession with spirals and the double helical shape of the DNA molecule.
On the waterfront of Tampa Bay, The Dali’s garden creates a unique environment of learning and tranquility. The Mathematical Garden allows students to experience the relationship between math and nature, and a labyrinth in the southeast corner invites exploration and well-being.
Visitors enter through The Dali Museum Store, featuring the largest collection of Dali-inspired merchandise in the world. Cafe Gala offers Spanish-themed light fare with both indoor and outdoor seating. The theater regularly shows a short film about Dali and the Museum and is also the setting for concerts and lectures. Children and adults can take classes or participate in making art in the Classroom. The Raymond James Community Room is a space for conferences, weddings and other private events.
The Dali Museum library is a unique resource for scholars, art professionals, collectors and students studying Salvador Dali, Surrealism and the Avant-garde. The administrative offices of the Museum are also located on this floor.
All of the galleries are located on the third floor. In between the two main wings of the Museum sets on overlook with a breathtaking view of the gardens and waterfront through the Enigma. The James Family Wing holds the permanent collection of Dali’s works. The Hough Family Wing shares special exhibitions.