Designing a museum is always an exciting architectural challenge. Museums often come with their own unique needs and constraints--from the art museum that needs specialist spaces for preserving works, to the huge collection that requires extensive archive space, and even the respected institution whose existing heritage building presents a challenge for any new extension. In honor of International Museum Day, we’ve selected 23 stand-out museums from our database, with each ArchDaily editor explaining what makes these buildings some of the best examples of museum architecture out there.
The Arkansas Arts Center has selected five top architecture firms to compete for the design of a $55 million to $65 million museum expansion project in Little Rock, Arkansas. The project will include a renovation to existing theater and studio spaces, as well as new education facilities for families and gallery space to house the museum’s expanding art collection.
An advisory panel and selection committee named the finalists following a RFQ process featuring 23 local and international firms.
The 5 firms selected as finalists are:
The Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw has announced that Thomas Phifer and Partners will be designing their new gallery space, after winning a competition against eleven other selected practices. The new museum, the largest cultural project in recent Polish history, will also house the TR Warsawa Theatre. The proposal consists of two separate buildings housing the theater and museum, joined by a common forum that will serve both as entrance and public multi-use space.
Michael Van Valkenburg Associates (MVVA) and Thomas Phifer & Partners have been announced as winners of an international competition set to transform 15 blocks of the neglected Waller Creek in downtown Austin, Texas, into a vibrant local attraction. Co-sponsored by the nonprofit Waller Creek Conservancy and the City of Austin, the ambitious project intends to spearhead redevelopment within the city’s central business district with the 1.5 mile urban scheme that represents approximately 11 percent of Austin’s downtown.
“Today, we glimpse a transformation of Austin through a new community gathering place. This design team selection illustrates our City’s desire for great civic space, unique culture and opportunity for interaction with nature,” Austin Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole said during the City Hall announcement. “We look forward to each new milestone of this development.”
The highly anticipated “Twilight Epiphany” Skyspace, designed by American artist James Turrell, will open to the public today with a sunset light show. The abstract pyramidal structure complements the natural light present at sunrise and sunset, creating a mesmerizing light show that connects the beauty of the natural world with the surrounding campus. This experience is enhanced by an LED light performance that projects onto the 72-by-72-foot thin white roof, which offers views to the sky through a 14-by-14-foot opening. Additionally, the Turrell Skyspace is acoustically engineered for musical performances and serves as a laboratory for music school students, as it stands adjacent to the Shepher School of Music on the Rice University campus in Houston, Texas.
David Leebron, Rice University President: “The campus has to play its role in inspiring our students.”
Continue after the break to watch a sneak preview of the Turrell Skyspace light show.
Houston is our focus this week for our Architecture City Guide series. We know Houston is packed with lots of great architecture so we are expecting to hear about your can’t miss buildings in the comment section below. Remember this list is intended to be added to by you, our readers. We will be updating our Architecture City Guides in the future to reflect your suggested buildings to visit.
Follow the break for our Houston list and corresponding map!
Last year we featured the Brochstein Pavilion designed by Thomas Phifer & Partners and The Office of James Burnett. Since then, the pavilion has received a National AIA Award, a National ASLA Honor Award and the ASU Architectural Citation. Today, we’d like to share with you a video that The Office of James Burnett made about the pavilion. Enjoy!
Architect: Thomas Phifer Location: Raleigh, North Carolina, USA Partner in Charge: Thomas Phifer AIA Project Partner: Greg Reaves AIA LEED AP Project Architect: Gabriel Smith AIA LEED AP Project Team: Adam Ruffin, Katie Bennett, Jonathan Benner, Eric Richey, Daniel Taft, Kerim Demirkan, Len Lopate, ChristophTimm, Joseph Sevene Local Architects: Pierce Brinkley Cease + Lee, Raleigh, NC Structural Engineer: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, Chicago, IL Mechanical Engineer: AltieriSeborWieber LLC, Norwalk, CT Landscape Architect: Lappas + Havener, PA, Durham, N.C. Lighting Design: Fisher Marantz Stone, New York, NY General Contractor: Barnhill, Raleigh NC Project Area: 136,000 sf Project Year: 2010 Photographs: Scott Frances
For Thomas Phifer + Partners’ latest residence, the firm takes inspiration from the envisioned Long Island site’s proximity to the water. The seemingly repetitious simplistic form is actually one continuous surface that undulates to carve spaces underneath it.
More images and more about the residence after the break.