Did Park City Blow It With BIG’s Kimball Art Center?

The original design for the Kimball Art Center. Image Courtesy of (BIG)

In an entertaining take on the events that led BIG to completely redesign their winning competition entry for the Kimball Art Center in Park City, , Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan describes the new design as “ridiculously anonymous,” “a huge — and almost hilarious — departure from the personality and warmth of the original design.” She asks the residents of Park City, whose outrage forced the redesign, “are you happy now?” Read the full article here.

BIG Unveils New Scheme for Park City’s Kimball Art Center

Courtesy of

BIG has unveiled new plans for the Kimball Art Center in Park City, . Departing from his original competition winning design, a twisted 76-foot tall log cabin whose height caused its demise due to public disapproval, the new scheme will now top out at a more modest 46-feet as two slanted concrete walls lift towards the sky and expose the center’s interior to the historic Old Main Street. 

“The building seems to rise with Main Street and the mountain landscape, while bowing down to match the scale of the existing Kimball,” described Bjarke Ingels in a statement.

BIG wins competition for the new Kimball Art Center in Park City

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BIG has just been announced as the winner of the competition for the new Kimball Art Center in Park City, Utah. The non-profit community center for the visual arts, which started in 1976, invites people to experience art through education, exhibitions and events. The aging historic building (dated from 1929) was in need of restoration and an addition that could allow the organization to increase their educational outreach and enhance the quality and scale of the exhibitions, while maintaining free admission to the public.

The competition’s shortlist included some of the (in my opinion) best firms in the US these days: BIG (actually Danish, but with an office in NY, which in a way “landed” in the US with several ongoing projects), Brooks + ScarpaSparano + Mooney ArchitectureTod Williams and Billie Tsien Architects, and Will Bruder + Partners LTD

You can check BIG’s proposal previously featured at ArchDaily, a project that stood out not only in formal aspects, but because of its connection with the history that the Kimball Art Center has represented.

Kimball Art Center / Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects

Courtesy of Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects

Rather than trying to compete with the sublime landscape of , New York City based Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects chose to create a building that framed the views and contained a perspective from which to appreciate the alpine landscape.  This design is one of five proposals for the transformation of the Kimball Art Center in .

More on this proposal after the break.

Kimball Art Center / Will Bruder+PARTNERS

Courtesy of Will Bruder and Partners

The Kimball Art Center design proposal by Will Bruder+PARTNERS focuses on the nature of “exhibition” in the context of history. Taking a cue from the “colorful prehistoric petroglyphs and pictographs” of ’s canyons along with its abundance of formally expressive Victorian architecture, the proposal takes on the role of expression and education through color and craft. This sensitivity to the history and propogation of exhibition is instantly understood with the facade walls of Main and Heber Streets.

Follow us after the break for more…

Kimball Art Center / Sparano + Mooney Architecture

Courtesy of

The Kimball Art Center in , Utah is hosting a competition for a transformation of the “non-profit center for the arts in the heart of ’s historic and vibrant art community”. The list of architects competing to transform this cultural space is selective.  Among them is Sparano + Mooney Architecture, an internationally recognized firm with offices in Park City, Utah and Los Angeles, California.   The competition submissions for Stage II will be presented on February 2nd, but until then here is a preview of Sporano + Mooney’s Proposal!

Follow us after the break for more…

Kimball Art Center / Brooks + Scarpa Architects

North View approach - Courtesy of

As we announced yesterday, Brooks + Scarpa Architects is one of the five finalists selected for the Kimball Art Center competition. Inspired by the “seemingly endless” blue skies and the unique blend of new and old within the historic , Brooks + Scarpa delicately weave the heavy mass of the existing 12,000 square foot Kimball Art Center with the new 22,000 square foot addition that has been referred to as the Kimball “Cloud”.

Kimball Art Center Shortlist

Proposal - Courtesy of Bjarke Ingels Group

In 1976, art enthusiast Bill Kimball transformed the 1929 Kimball Bros automotive garage into a non-profit community center for the visual arts, now known as the Kimball Art Center. Located in the heart of downtown Park City, , the non-profit center serves as a gathering place for individuals to experience art through education, exhibitions and events. The aging historic building is in need of restoration and an addition that will allow the organization to increase their educational outreach and enhance the quality and scale of the exhibitions, while maintaining free admission to the public.

BIG, Brooks + Scarpa, Sparano + Mooney Architecture, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien Architects, and Will Bruder + Partners LTD are the five architects selected to submit final proposals for the transformation of the Kimball Art Center.

Continue after the break to watch each firm’s introductory presentation.

Kimball Art Center / BIG

Courtesy of ()

In approaching the design for the new Kimball Art Center, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) found great inspiration in the urban development of Park City, the Kimball site, and the city’s mining heritage. They feel the form of the new Kimball Art Center emerges where these rich stories overlap. More images and architects’ description after the break.