The plan, designed by Massachusetts-based landscape architecture firm Reed Hilderbrand and New Orleans-based architecture Trahan Architects, includes a new visitor pavilion, cafe and retail store and will "rejuvenate the landscape," according to Contemporary Executive Director Louis Grachos.
The master plan to transform the outdoor sculpture garden was first developed in 2013.
"It's been a long time coming," Grachos said at the groundbreaking event.
Austin Mayor Steve Adler spoke about how the Contemporary Austin contributes to the city's cultural economy and provides "essentially Austin programming," such as the museum's Art School at Laguna Gloria, which offers classes for children and adults.
"We are a creative, entrepreneurial, beautiful city," Adler said. "We are Austin because of spaces like this."
Ross Moody, trustee of the Moody Foundation, which provided financial support for this project, said the master plan would usher in "a dynamic and visionary transformation" of the museum's campus.
"Laguna Gloria offers visitors a unique art-in-nature experience," Moody said, adding that it serves the Moody Foundation's mission to unify and "lift up" the Austin community.