Update: MOCA / Farshid Moussavi

© Dean Kaufman/Courtesy MOCA

Just a short time since its public opening celebration, Farshid Moussavi’s Museum of Contemporary Art is already a dynamic hub of activity for the city of Cleveland.  A three-day festival in early October welcomed museum members, out-of-town guests and the general public with a series of art installations, music and entertainment, to showcase the city’s newest icon.  Moussavi joined in the festivities and was honored for her sleek faceted form at the museum’s three-tiered party.   Although we have been following the progress of the project since its conceptual phases, we have yet to see what the mysterious black cube has to offer in terms of interior gallery spaces and public gathering zones… until now! Check out a great series of interior photos plus beautiful exterior photos by photographers Dean Kaufman and Duane Prokop to compliment our set from the summer time.

More after the break. 

© Dean Kaufman/Courtesy MOCA Cleveland

The photos highlight the strengths of Moussavi’s aesthetic strategy as what appears to be a solid black mass is actually quite transparent and welcoming.  As the sky changes throughout the course of the day, the building acts as a natural canvas, allowing the blueish hues and red/yellow shades of the sun’s rays to shimmer of its glass.

© Dean Kaufman/Courtesy MOCA Cleveland

“It’s as if the building is performing for you,” says Farshid Moussavi, the ­museum’s architect. “There are some amazing moments, when the distorted reflections produce a kind of new reality.”

© Dean Kaufman/Courtesy MOCA Cleveland

The sectional quality of the building provides a lively lobby condition, with overlapping viewing platforms to focus on not only the art, but also the movement of people, through the dominate space along a grand focal staircase. We love the pop of color along the interior blue wall, and the bold moves made with simple forms and a non-aggressive material palette.

© Duane Prokop, Getty Images Entertainment/Courtesy MOCA Cleveland

MOCA Executive Director Jill Snyder explained, “We believe MOCA is contributing a great building to  Cleveland, one that will stimulate critical thinking and animate social exchange. MOCA is expanding its scope and activities on all fronts, supported by new architecture that allows for flexibility, unconventionality, and technological capacity in the presentation of contemporary art.”

© Dean Kaufman/Courtesy MOCA Cleveland

“We want the building to be an experience in itself and to reflect the role of the museum,” Moussavi says. “MOCA Cleveland isn’t a grand museum with a historical collection; it’s all about temporary exhibitions, which change constantly—so does contemporary art, and so should the architecture.”

Congratulations to Ms. Moussavi  on her first major US work – we are looking forward to the next!


Cite: Cilento, Karen. "Update: MOCA / Farshid Moussavi" 16 Oct 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 24 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=283038>
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  • David P. Wolfe

    The final photography exemplifies the thoughtfulness of craft and construction that can only be evidenced from an accomplished and mature design firm.

    The color, material choices and final detailing have thrust this project beyond a merely interesting form and into a brilliant architectural triumph. We should look forward to more good design from Farshid Moussavi Architecture in the future.

  • http://www.ivanizm.net Ahmed Mounir

    could anybody tell me what’s the material used in stairs? that soft white material covering it

  • baha

    how can i find the plans of the project?

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