A £3.8m visitor centre could be built at Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s Bretton Park entrance.
The YSP has submitted a planning application to Wakefield Council to build the centre which will also include a restaurant, gallery and shop.
Arts Council England has given £1.7m to the park for the facility and the remainder is to come from fundraising.
It is expected to be complete by late 2017 - 40 years on from when the park first opened.
Peter Murray, executive and founding director of YSP, said: “The new visitor centre is a reflection of YSP’s ambition to increase long term resilience and sustainability by building audiences, further developing our artistic programme, and increasing visitor income.
“In our 40th anniversary year, the centre will provide an important new element to our physical infrastructure, bringing together all of the successful elements of previous developments.
“It will also provide a platform to sustain and increase visitor numbers over the next decade.”
The new building has been designed to make the minimum impact on the 500-acre site at West Bretton, the YSP said.
The announcement of the new centre comes as final preparations are made for its latest exhibit.
Wave, part of the iconic Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red installation that brought thousands of visitors to the Tower of London last year, opens at the park on September 5.
A curling swathe of ceramic poppies have been installed amongst the beautiful setting of YSP’s lower lake, around 1km from the Visitor Centre, and will still in place until early January 2016.
Chancellor George Osborne visited the park on Monday to see it being installed.