Sacramento’s Crocker Art Museum announced today that Olson Kundig will lead the design and development of their new, three-acre civic space in collaboration with landscape architecture firm SURFACEDESIGN INC.

Set north of the museum’s O Street entrance, the new Crocker Park will be built over an underutilized, empty space adjacent to the main building and is expected to create a cohesive campus for the cultural institution. The Seattle-based firm aims to transform the existing unimproved land into an outdoor gathering area and add a multi-level parking structure across N Street that will double as gallery, and event and program space.

Olson Kundig and SURFACEDESIGN INC. were selected out of 50 design submissions from around the world. While the architects’ initial design has not been unveiled yet, according to a press release, it shows the new building as a porous structure that allows a seamless transition from the garage to the park to the main gallery. The team was inspired by the agricultural richness of the Central California region and the tapestry of trees that cover the city.

“The park project fascinated me the moment I read about it,” said Alan Maskin, Lead Architect and Principal/Owner of Olson Kundig. “It is a chance to create a beautiful and much-needed amenity, while at the same time reimagining the ubiquitous yet often overlooked urban typology of a parking garage. We are excited about the opportunity to establish a new icon for Sacramento, creating a place that merges art, architecture and nature.”

The Crocker Art Museum is the longest continuously operating art museum in the Western United States. Established in 1885, it first opened as a public museum inside a historic mansion and adjacent gallery owned by prominent judge and art collector Edwin B. Crocker and designed by architect Seth Babson. In 2000, the Crocker hired Gwathmey Siegel & Associates to design a masterplan and expansion of the museum, which opened in 2010.

Olson Kundig and SURFACEDESIGN INC.’s $40-million development is expected to break ground in fall 2020.

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