Last year the University of California, Davis invited three invited three architects to compete for the chance to design their new $30 million art museum, slated to open in 2016. The competition was a design-build affair, with each entrant being asked to pair up with a contractor and submit a holistic design. For those who missed it, SO – IL were announced yesterday as the winners of the competition.
Here we present one of two runner-up submissions from WORKac. The concept revolves around creating a distinctive beacon, which would be a center point for an overlap between art, higher-education, and everyday-life. The parallelogram form is intended to create a dynamic space which creates opportunities for interplay with the proposed landscape and surrounding area. Inside a collection of formal and informal, open and intimate are arranged along two axes, pinned together with a bright common space.
Read the architects description after the break…
A bold, open-faced icon along an outermost edge of UC Davis’ campus, the JSMMS Museum re-imagines the intersections among art, higher education, and everyday life. A beacon to students and visitors alike, the building renders UC Davis’ long history of engagement with the arts visible to the campus and city beyond.Through a careful and innovative reordering of traditional museum conventions, the highly-accessible building becomes a platform for collective learning, creation, and experimentation—a showcase for UC Davis’ artistic legacy and its evolution as a cutting-edge cultural force, and an integral and vibrant hub for future student generations.
To emphasize the building’s role as a destination for multiple audiences, the team devised a simple and striking parallelogram form that maximizes opportunities for public space throughout the site. Two corners of the building are lifted to create distinct facades facing the campus and the adjacent highway, forming a dramatic sloping roof that houses an array of spaces, views, and experiences. The slope of this roof, its orientation, and its light metal cladding together produce an inherently efficient envelope that minimizes solar heat gain and the energy needed to cool the building.
To further underscore the public nature of the Museum and to provide a large shaded outdoor space, a striking canopy extends over a new plaza, opening northward toward the larger campus. Continuing upon the theme of connecting the Museum’s activities to the surrounding campus, the proposed landscape is strategically designed to ‘stitch’ the new building to the site through a series of outdoor rooms, courtyards, and terraces that complement and blend with the Museum’s interior while providing opportunities for ample natural light and ventilation.
The Museum’s programming offers a spectrum of art experiences to accommodate a wide variety of interests and guests. In addition to formal exhibition spaces, the building also features innovative art-making and education resources. Within the parallelogram plan, these experiences are organized along two axes, ranging from most formal to the least formal or experimental spaces.
Upon entering, visitors can proceed directly ahead into the formal, east-west axis of the Main and Focus Galleries—a collection of flexible, carefully-proportioned ‘white boxes’. Alternatively, the north-south axis leads to more informal or intimate art experiences, beginning at the Museum’s entrance and extending to the second level and to many outdoor spaces. A light-filled common area at the intersection of the two axes, the double- height Lobby Lounge gives way to the Art Tribune: a rising sequence of casework displays, art platforms and seating areas integrated with the main stair. Tucked within the Art Tribune, the vault-like Archive Gallery provides a counterpoint to the adjacent Outdoor Art Studio and Outdoor Lounge. Expansive terraces on the second floor link to the Indoor Art Studio and Community Education Space. Passing over the Art Tribune and Lobby Lounge is a bridge that contains the Collections Classroom, a central ‘jewel-box’ feature that showcases glimpses of permanent collection items displayed within–inviting the public to ascend the Art Tribune and explore the Museum in its entirety.