Third Time's the Charm

BIG to design Utah’s new Kimball Art Center

Architecture News Urbanism West
BIG to design Utah's new Kimball Art Center. Pictured: Rendering of BIG's 2011 proposal for Kimball Art Center redesign. This design does not reflect what BIG will design for the Kimball in this round. (Courtesy Bjarke Ingels Group)
BIG to design Utah's new Kimball Art Center. Pictured: Rendering of BIG's 2011 proposal for Kimball Art Center redesign. This design does not reflect what BIG will design for the Kimball in this round. (Courtesy Bjarke Ingels Group)

The Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) is getting another crack at designing the Kimball Art Center in Park City, Utah. After two unsuccessful attempts at renovating the art center’s historically-sensitive current home in 2011, BIG has now been tapped to design the organization’s new permanent home.

BIG had originally proposed two schemes for the art center’s former location on Main Street. Both designs heavily referenced the city’s mining past and resembled different configurations of wooden railroad trestles (albeit with a much more subdued direction for the second plan). After both expansion schemes were rejected by City Hall as being too out of context for the historic neighborhood, the art center left its former home and has been without a permanent location ever since.

The Kimball Art Center’s current temporary home. (Rebekah Stevens)

Now the organization is eyeing a home in Park City’s new arts and culture district, which comes with a much less restrictive set of zoning regulations. The district is being created whole cloth by City Hall and has locked down Kimball Art Center and the Sundance Institute as their first tenants.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with both the City and BIG on this project,” said Kimball Art Center’s executive director Jory Macomber. “After committing to becoming an anchor tenant in the future arts and culture district, we needed to select an architect that would help us design our new building while staying true to our mission — to inspire and connect through art.”

BIG’s selection is just the first step on the art center’s journey to a new and improved facility. Kimball still has to negotiate ownership of their potential plot with the city, plan the building’s programmatic elements, and conduct community outreach with residents. If everything goes as planned, the new Kimball Art Center should open its doors in 2022.

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