New York City and Beijing–based OPEN Architecture recently completed a cave-like museum that’s carved into a sand dune along China’s Gold Coast. The UCCA Dune Art Museum is a 10,000-square-foot facility featuring 10 galleries, studios, and a cafe tucked inside an all-white, unassuming structure beside the sea. According to the architects, the museum’s hidden form was inspired by the way in which children dig into the sand. It takes visitors beneath the mass of loose land and allows them to enter into a series of otherworldly, cell-like spaces below ground. After walking through a dark tunnel and small reception area, museum-goers are exposed to the largest multifunctional gallery. This procession, along with its secluded location, creates a more personal experience for viewing contemporary art. “Its interconnected, organically shaped spaces echo those of caves…whose walls were once home to some of man’s first works of art," the firm told Archinect. The largely-underground building includes a massive concrete shell that was formed by small linear wood strips and other structural materials. A multitude of overhead openings and skylights of varying sizes allow natural light to seep into the gallery spaces. Perched by the shore, the roof is covered in sand to reduce the building’s overall heat load. It also includes a low-energy, zero-emission ground source heat pump that cools the structure during the day. Visitors can ascend a spiral staircase from the galleries up onto a viewing platform to take in the surrounding views and fresh air. The entire space is engineered to be contemplative, urging art lovers to consider the museum’s context as part of the art itself. The UCCA Dune Art Museum is part of the Ullen Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing, a leading international institution. OPEN Architecture aims to design a walkway that extends from the Dune Art Museum into the Bohai Sea. When the tide is low, it will lead visitors to the solitary Sea Art Museum, a boxy, open-air structure built like a rock. That project is currently under construction.
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The Downtown Los Angeles-based LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, a cultural center located in L.A.'s El Pueblo Historical Monument, is pushing for a new Mexican food-themed museum to open in early 2019. The museum, dubbed La Plaza Cocina, is slated for the forthcoming LA Plaza Village, a new, mixed-use affordable housing development designed by Johnson Fain. The 355-unit complex has been under construction since 2016 and is nearing completion. Designed with landscape architects SWA, the development will bring 71 low-income units to the area, as well a variety of neighborhood-serving retail and cultural spaces, including La Plaza Cocina. The Los Angeles Times reported that the new 2,500-square-foot museum will focus on the history and evolution of Mexican food, with a particular emphasis on the development of Mexican-American cuisines in the Southern California region. It will also house a demonstration kitchen and host programs, events, and exhibitions associated with Mexican food and culture in L.A. L.A.’s Rodrigo Vargas Design is designing the interiors for LA Plaza Cocina. “Los Angeles is the Mexican food capital of the country, and it deserves a place that celebrates the history and culture that we have with Mexican food.” John Echeveste, CEO of LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, told The Los Angeles Times. “It’s important, not only to Latino families, but anyone who eats.” Echeveste described the museum as a “multipurpose space centered around Mexican cuisine in all of its ramifications." It will even feature a separate specialty store on site where visitors can buy spices, foods, and cultural media. According to the report, the museum will offer a slate of cooking and history classes taught by some of the region's best and most well-known Mexican chefs. In the future, it will provide cross-cultural programming with Mexican chefs via live broadcast in Mexico. The entire development is slated for an early 2019 opening.
Yale University is slated to renovate and expand one of its oldest campus institutions, the Peabody Museum of Natural History on Science Hill. Thanks in part to a just-announced $160-million donation from philanthropist and Yale alumnus Edward P. Bass, the project will be the first major update the landmark museum has received in 93 years. The master plan, conceived by Centerbrook Architects and Planners, marks one of the boldest and most thoughtful endeavors the university has taken on in recent years. After well over a decade of planning, the project will yield 50 percent more exhibition space for the museum and improve storage for its on-site collection of over 13 million artifacts. It will also include the addition of a new, four-story infill structure that will connect the neighboring Environmental Science Center. The sky-lit, glass-enclosed connector will give students seamless access into the museum, where Centerbrook will create more modern spaces for research and study. One of Yale’s main goals for the addition, said Centerbrook’s principal Mark Simon, was to complement the timeless architecture of the original Peabody building, a three-story, French Gothic Revival, sandstone structure by renowned campus architect Charles Klauder. Using fritted glass and bronze-colored aluminum framing, the cathedral-like tower will bring a contemporary edge to the aged institution. “The Peabody community wanted to maintain a family resemblance or identity throughout the new and old structures,” said Simon. “It’s always tricky to do something that’s up-to-date but connects well with the historic fabric, but we’re all very pleased with this design.” The building out of the glass tower will be done in the initial phases of construction, Simon said. After that, the renovation of the museum’s existing spaces can begin. So far, a timeline for construction hasn’t been announced as Yale is currently strategizing on how to safely remove portions of the Peabody’s collection to a facility on its West Campus. Both the museum, as well as the other science buildings being updated during the project, will remain open throughout construction to students, faculty, and the 130,000 visitors—which includes 25,000 regional school children—who visit the Peabody each year. Other elements of the master plan include creating new classrooms, labs, and learning spaces for collections-based teaching and scientific exploration. The museum, founded in 1866, has been home to some of the most important discoveries in history and Yale hopes the renovation will help carry on the Peabody’s legacy of advancement in the industry. “As one of Yale’s greatest resources, this museum will provide hands-on learning for students across various undergraduate programs,” said Simon, “and allow them to engage in the processes of the museum itself from research and restoration, to designing exhibits and presenting their work in the galleries.” Centerbrook is one of Yale’s long-time partners. The local firm has completed 12 projects for the university from Kroon Hall, which they designed in collaboration with Hopkins Architects, to the Child Study Center, the renovated and expanded Reese Stadium—home of the men’s and women’s soccer and lacrosse programs—as well as an addition to the historic Yale Bowl. While Simon has worked extensively on many of these buildings, the Peabody renovation is a game-changer for the firm. “We are over the moon that this is finally coming to fruition,” he said. “Each year we spend on it, it seems more and more important to do. It’s more than just another university museum upgrade. You get a sense that this project will not only have a major impact on education at Yale, but on the world at large.”
In 2007 the late artist and philanthropist Linda Pace—of Pace jarred salsa fame—had a vision of a ruby-tinted arts city come to her in a dream. The city, as Pace dreamed it, would become a rough outline for the 14,000-square-foot Adjaye Associates–designed museum complex that will house her foundation’s art collection in San Antonio. Pace passed away in 2007; more than ten years later, her vision is being brought to life bit by bit, an endeavor that is currently in full swing ahead of the building’s projected 2019 opening date. The $16 million dream is being translated into reality by architect David Adjaye and an international network of local architects, contractors, and fabricators who have made plans for a precast concrete panel citadel situated on the Texas plain. There, folded concrete surfaces and expanses of brut walls will house the 800 or so artworks collected by Pace and her namesake foundation. The pink complex is built out of a special concrete and aggregate mix crafted by fabricators across the border in Mexico that will result in a gleaming, rosy edifice. As explained by Mike McGlone, principal at Alamo Architects, the executive architect for the project, most colored concrete starts out in either gray, beige, or white tones, with pigments added incrementally to tint the mixture to the desired color. But ruby red pigment is a particularly difficult hue to achieve. For one, pigment can only be added little by little, resulting in a blended appearance that can appear muddled when combined with cement’s natural coloring. The process is made more difficult by the inherent structural requirements of the materials involved—the more pigment is added, the less resilient the final product—so while Pace’s dream called for a vibrant, beet juice–colored edifice, tests using traditional methods yielded less spectacular results. That was the case until designers began looking south of the border, where concrete fabricators Pretecsa can produce concrete panels made with red rock aggregate and red sand taken from local quarries. There, instead of starting with beige or gray bases, the fabricators begin with white concrete and add colored materials and tints to change the hue of the mix from inside-out. The fabricators include materials such as recycled red glass and mica in the mix to boost coloration, while also creating a glittering finished surface that will reflect sunlight throughout the day. Adjaye’s designs call for a collection of open galleries topped by a pair of sculptural light cannons that will bring light into the building. The complex will make use of several different concrete panel types, including rough surfaces that will line the upper sections of the building to better reflect the sun. Lower sections will be smooth to the touch, with a three-sided forecourt wrapping a sculpture terrace that features sandblasted surfaces. The folded concrete panel structure will also use cementitious panels along its roof, a system that will be supported below by a secondary weather-proof roofing system located directly below the outermost concrete layer. The complex is expected to be completed in late 2018 and will open to the public in 2019.
Morphosis has announced that it is developing a design and masterplan for a 150,000 square-foot expansion of the Museum of Texas Tech University. Established in 1929, the museum moved to its current 238,000 square-foot facility in 1970 and is cited as the largest and most diverse university museum in the nation. In its main building, it houses a massive collection of 8 million objects representing the range of subjects taught at Texas Tech and provides students and community members with relevant programming. Also part of the museum’s facilities are the Lubbock Lake Landmark, the Natural Science Research Laboratory, and the Moody Planetarium. According to a press release, the new Morphosis-designed masterplan will expand the focus of the museum beyond its permanent collections and will reflect the breadth of innovation happening at the university. The design of the “Universiteum of Texas Tech” will be led by firm founder Thom Mayne and principal Arne Emerson and will add 40,000 square-feet of flexible gallery space, a community engagement center, more laboratories, work areas, and a collection of storage facilities to the existing museum on the university’s campus in Lubbock, Texas. “We envision our design to act as a connector that knits together the existing museum and cultural buildings with the larger Texas Tech campus,” Emerson told The Architect’s Newspaper, “while providing a new gateway that engages the existing building and planetarium in a dialogue.” The architects will draw upon the rich history and ecology of the Western High Plains to develop a masterplan that highlights the school’s leadership in research and creativity across its various disciplines including STEM, health sciences, humanities, and the arts. The project is expected to also showcase a new model for university-community engagement. The new Universiteum will add additional research space for students within the university's Museum Science and Heritage Management programs, and it will also act as a gathering place for the public to further engage in special exhibitions and programming. In addition, it will feature the first large traveling exhibition gallery capable of housing major blockbuster shows in West Texas. The Museum of Texas Tech University is Morphosis’s second museum project in Texas. Their design for the Perot Museum of Nature and Science opened in Dallas in 2012.
If all the James Bond villains got together and opened a museum, this would be it. Carved inside a mountain, surrounded by snow, reachable only by an alpine gondola, the remote location was the ideal set for the 2015 Bond movie Spectre. Now it’s transformed into 007 Elements, a Bond-themed spy museum that opened on July 12 in the Austrian Alps. Designed by Johann Obermoser of Obermoser arch-omo ZT GmbH | Architektur in Innsbruck, the two-level museum is located on top of and inside the Gaislachkogl mountain in Sölden, Austria, site of a popular ski resort and location of the fictional Hoffler Klinik that appeared in Spectre. Planning for the project began while Spectre was being filmed in 2015. The museum primarily focuses on that movie, the 24th in the Bond franchise, but highlights others as well. Visitors reach the museum by taking a cable car to the top of the mountain, nearly 10,000 feet above sea level. The museum is filled with props and other artifacts from Bond movies, including the plane used in Spectre, which is suspended like a Calder mobile. Inside are nine galleries that were designed to be 'floating cubes' set within the mountain. These chambers employ dark lighting, sound effects, mirrors and videos to evoke the feel of a villain’s underground lair. The only parts of the museum that are above ground are the entrance, exit, two windows, and a plaza that provides sweeping Alpine views. Each cube showcases a different aspect of filmmaking, such as title sequences, music, special effects, stunts, spy gadgets, and cars. The museum is a joint venture of EON Productions, a production company behind the Bond films, with MGM Studios, and Jakob Falkner, owner of the cable car company at the Sölden resort. The museum’s creative director is Neal Callow, who served as art director for the last four Bond films, all starring Daniel Craig. The galleries are intentionally not heated or air conditioned, so visitors could experience “the extreme climate conditions of high altitudes,” according to the architect’s website. “It being Bond, of course, building something inside the top of a mountain feels very kind of correct, for the history of the legacy,” Callow told Conde Nast Traveler. “We always wanted to do a different type of experience than a traditional museum, where we wanted to teach people about how all of our films are made, and inspire people to get in the industry.” The museum is next to ice Q, a restaurant that doubled as the Hoffler Klinik in Spectre and was designed by the same architects.
Gehry Partners onto the project, though Krens and Gehry have a longstanding relationship: the pair worked on the Guggenheim Bilbao when Krens directed the museum's New York location.Visitors will start in the Berkshires (North Adams's home) and head towards New York City, London, Tokyo, the Southwest, and the Rocky Mountains. Firms the world over are contributing models to the project. Extreme Model Railroad and Contemporary Architecture Museum Inc. is leading the design and fabrication of the interior exhibitions, with Jarzyniecki as a consultant, while Gehry is in charge of the exterior. The project will anchor the redevelopment of Western Gateway Heritage State Park, one of nine parks Massachusetts established in the 1980s in its former industrial cities and towns to spur tourism. That park is expected to host two other museums and a distillery. The museum, a for-profit enterprise, is expected to be complete in 2021 at a cost of $65 million. Thomas Krens, the man behind MASS MoCA, brought
Renderings have been revealed for the forthcoming Armenian American Museum (AAM) in Glendale, California. The proposed 30,000-square-foot complex is designed by Glendale-based Alajajian Marcoosi Architects (AMA), a local architecture firm known for designing classically-inspired apartment and retail complexes. With their distinctive proposal for the AAM, however, AMA has traded in swept cornices for heroic expressionism. The firm’s chiseled design for the square-shaped museum complex hearkens toward the faceted and craggy faces of Mount Aragat in Armenia as well as toward the Verdugo Mountains that frame the city of Glendale, according to a project website. AMA beat out three other architecture firms for the commission, including Yazdani Studio of Cannon Design, Belzberg Architects, and Frederick Fisher and Partners. The museum is designed to host a variety of cultural exhibitions and educational events while also functioning as a research center aimed at cultivating “Armenian American culture, social justice, and pluralism,” the site explains. The City of Glendale is known locally as the heart of Los Angeles’s thriving Armenian community and is home to the largest number of ethnic Armenians outside of Yerevan, Armenia, that country’s capital city. Renderings for the project depict a bouldered cube punctured by entry portals and slivered windows along its principal facades. The complex contains a generous public entrance on Colorado Street—a main thoroughfare—and is set back from the street along this expanse. The building’s raised first floor caps above- and below- grade parking and is accessed via a broad staircase connecting the building’s entry level with the street below. The eastern end of the building contains a rooftop terrace while the center of the structure is capped by a large skylight. Renderings also depict stone and concrete-clad interior surfaces as well as a mix of interior multi-height spaces punctuated by balconies. The backside of the museum is designed to open onto a new central plaza that connects to arterial pedestrian paths. This central plaza—known as Glendale Central Park—is currently being redeveloped by SWA Group with the aim of creating a symbolic gathering space for the city that will connect the city’s Downtown Central Library with the new AAM, an adult recreation center, and a series of parks, play areas, and pedestrianized streets. The new master plan for the district was approved by the City of Glendale last week, paving the way for community outreach to begin for the project. The city-led project is expected to receive final approval in April 2018. A final construction timeline has not been announced.
Renderings for the final three designs for the new El Paso Children’s Museum have been revealed, and residents of El Paso, Texas, can vote on their favorite until Friday, December 15th. All of the options, which include designs by Santa Monica-based Koning Eizenberg Architecture, Oslo-based Snøhetta, and Mexico-city based TEN Arquitectos, are designed around a master plan with specific installation requirements. The $30 million Children’s Museum, officially named Spark, is the result of a $473.2 million “Quality of Life” bond program that began in 2012. Because Spark is meant to educate people of all ages, the master plan by Gyroscope Inc., a museum design firm, have included nine themed interactive zones, maker spaces, art studios, classrooms and rotating exhibition space. Those themed zones include everything from a climbing-centric room that draws inspiration from the nearby Franklin Mountains, to a rooftop water engineering center in the shadow of a full-scale model airplane. Each of the competing studios chose to integrate these requirements differently. The proposal by Koning Eizenberg is relatively understated, wrapping a boxy glass form in a masonry sun-screen that references local architecture. A canopy of “sky canoes” seem to float over the act the building’s roof, trapping water and redirecting it to a learning garden on the ground floor, while the sunlight filtered through the façade is used to teach children about the movement of the sun. Overall, the firm wanted their design for the museum to integrate science into the building’s every function. Snøhetta’s proposal goes vertical, lifting the exhibition spaces off the ground and utilizing the space underneath for a series of interactive gardens. That verticality is repeated throughout Spark, with a set of floor-to-ceiling windows pointed towards the soaring Franklin Mountains, and the placement of a model jet at the museum’s “prow.” Visitors enter at the ground level and ascend into the stone-clad main body of the museum through an elevator inside of a central glass atrium, and are deposited onto a winding, spiral-shaped ramp. Their design also calls for a large number of interactive exhibits, including a seesaw linked through the internet to a counterpart at the Children’s Museum in Juárez; as one side goes up or down, the sibling seesaw moves accordingly. TEN Arquitectos’ design makes full use of the museum’s plot, turning Spark into a miniature campus with individual buildings all unified under a large scaffolding and solar panel roof. Each of the buildings would house a different program and look down on the public ground-level garden plaza. By allowing foot traffic to flow through the space unimpeded, and by hosting events at night in the plaza, TEN Arquitectos is hoping to better integrate the museum into the fabric of the surrounding city. The El Paso Community Foundation and other philanthropic groups involved with the museum expect to break ground in early 2018, and complete construction in the fall of 2020.
Anchoring the new Beverley Taylor Sorenson Center for the Arts campus in Cedar City, Utah, Brooks + Scarpa’s Southern Utah Museum of Art (SUMA) has opened to the public. The L.A.-based architects drew from the surrounding sandstone canyons of Mount Zion National Park for inspiration when designing the dramatically dipped roof and arched overhangs for the 28,000-thousand square-foot institution. Shaped like a canyon cutaway section, SUMA’s roof naturally funnels rain and snow out of the openings and into hidden wells, where the runoff returns to the aquifer below. The museum's facade is also clad in ridged, undulating panels that recall the texture of a sheer cliff face, while the smooth, sheltering underside is similar to rock that’s been worn away by erosion. Cantilevering out up to 120 feet on the west side of the building, the roof creates 6,000 square feet of lit public event space that eases the transition between the indoor and outdoor areas. Besides fostering outdoor social interaction, these extensions shade the interior of the museum and allowed large windows to be installed without exposing any of the artwork to direct sunlight. Because of this solar shading, the museum uses 30 percent less electricity than a comparably sized building. Inside, the museum is using what Brooks + Scarpa has called a “trigeneration” process that integrates heating, cooling, and electricity into a single system. Through the use of radiant heating and a ground-level air supply, the system acts as a natural heat pump that diffuses hot and cold air throughout the building as needed. Speaking to Interior Design, Lawrence Scarpa described how his studio approached the project from a context-first standpoint. "I had never been to Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park before being hired to design the Southern Utah Museum of Art in Cedar City, and the slot canyons were pretty stunning,” said Scarpa. “The way you get in and out of the parks, in fact, is through the canyons, and they reminded me of my design process. A bit like water that seeks its own path, eroding the stone, I start with a general idea, not really knowing where it’s going to take me,” he added. The winner of an AIA LA 2017 Citation Award, SUMA will host contemporary and modern visual art from across southern Utah and the surrounding Colorado Plateau. By integrating performance spaces, classrooms and hands-on conservation training for MFA students and faculty at Southern Utah University, the museum will also become a powerful tool for the local community.
Two years ago, SITE Santa Fe tapped SHoP Architects to expand and upgrade its home, a former beer warehouse turned museum in a rail yard. Now, images of the newly-opened museum expansion show how the low-slung building was transformed as a polished homage to its industrial surroundings. The contemporary art museum picked New York's SHoP for an addition to the home it has occupied since its founding in 1995. To access the new, 10,000-square-foot space, visitors pass under a metal prow and through an open forecourt to the main entrance. From there, the new program includes a bigger lobby, more outdoor space, 200-seat theater, a sculpture court, more space for education, and a new cafe and store. The extra room will enable the museum to host more exhibitions and reach a broader swath of visitors in Santa Fe, a city of 84,000, and the surrounding region. “We wanted the design to lend a quality of intimacy to the space but also open it up to the energy of the Railyard district,” SHoP Principal Christopher Sharples told CLADGlobal. “Together the new galleries, public gathering spaces, and the exterior entrance signal a mature sophistication throughout the space while also creating an iconic presence for the institution as it moves forward.”
The project broke ground in August 2016, and the museum opened early last month. In all, the expansion brings SITE Santa Fe's footprint to 36,000 interior and exterior square feet. Santa Fe, an artsy city already, is no stranger to adventurous architecture and design. In 2015, designers at Ouchhh, a Turkish studio, brought wild fractal projections to the Digital Dome of the Institute of American Indian Arts, the city's college and museum devoted to Native American art. Two years before that, WAMO Studio transformed a walk-in freezer into a new (dare we say "cool") office for its practice.
nARCHITECTS have designed a new Equal Rights Heritage Center to be built in Auburn, NY. The town is one of the most important places in 19th century American history, as two of the most prominent equal rights crusaders of the era—Harriet Tubman and William Seward—called Auburn home. The museum will house a permanent exhibit and will comprise a 7,500-square-foot building that includes both exhibition and community spaces. It will showcase “the role the State and New Yorkers have played in the struggle for women's rights, abolition, civil rights and the more recent efforts for LGBTQ rights,” according to a statement from the governor's office. The center is located in the South Street National Register Historic District, directly across from city hall and next to the William H. Seward House Museum. Auburn is also home to Harriet Tubman National Historical Park. The design treats the unique location as a part of the exhibition by introducing visitors to their immediate surroundings through large glazed openings and by engaging views of the nearby Seward House Museum, Memorial City Hall, the historic YMCA and Westminster Church, and a new plaza and landscape. These vistas are highlighted through openings along a board-formed concrete perimeter which connects the interior exhibition spaces. The exterior relates to the scale of nearby houses with four one-story volumes of different heights and alternating roof pitches which are punctuated by triangular courtyards. "Sitting at the crossroads of Central New York and the Finger Lakes, Auburn has a played a unique role in New York State history as people and ideas traveled across the state," New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said. "The city was home to great New Yorkers like Harriet Tubman and William Seward who fought for equal rights, and whose homes are now landmarks. The new Equal Rights Heritage Center will pay tribute to their efforts, and the sacrifices of the many who sought equality, while encouraging travelers to visit all that this region has to offer." The center is funded primarily by a $10 million dollar grant as part of the Central NY Rising initiative, a state initiative to spark economic and community growth in the region. Another $889,000 will be allocated from the Department of State grant through the Local Water Revitalization Program, and $500,000 will be allocated from the Department of Transportation for road construction around the site. "The Equal Rights Heritage Center is another example of the importance that New York State places on educating and recognizing its history and honoring those who served as pioneers before us so that we can become trailblazers for future generations. When we know where we come from we can understand where we need to go," said New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Rose Harvey. The expected completion time is fall 2018.