Architects: Stanley Beaman & Sears
- Photographs: via Stanley Beaman & Sears
- Commissioning/Building Envelope Review:Energy Ace
- Design Team:Josh le Francois, Brian Peterka, Betsy Beaman, Steve Denton, Clay Cameron, Brenda Dietz, Chris Bowles
- Country:United States
Text description provided by the architects. The new 9,000 SF, $3,000,000 Zuckerman Museum of Art has consolidated collections that were previously spread out across the campus of Kennesaw State University into a facility that includes gallery space for permanent collection and temporary exhibitions as well collection storage, staff offices, and support facilities. Kennesaw State University envisioned its museum as a cultural resource not only for the campus community but for the greater Atlanta area as well – the latter being something of a new undertaking for the school. Thus, it was essential that the building make a bold architectural statement, and serve as a landmark for visitors. The university leadership also explicitly sought a structure to contrast with and enliven the subdued design of the overwhelmingly beige and red brick existing campus.
On a site visible from a principal entrance drive, the concept achieves these goals with the dramatic geometry and transparency of its facade, with its monumental staircase, and by rotating off the campus’ dominant rectilinear grid. This angled orientation is emphasized by the larger mass of the existing Bailey Performance Center immediately behind, to which the new building is joined, and for which it provides a new and extended reception and pre-function space for the 624 seat performance hall. The exterior materials of the building reflect the programmatic functions behind the façade. The main public spaces face north and are clad in curtainwall to allow natural light into and views out of the sculpture pavilion while the main gallery and back of house functions are marked by metal panels and polished black concrete masonry unit veneer. The white metal panels fold slightly upwards above the main entrance into a slight curtsey that protects visitors from inclement weather as they enter the museum. The pattern of the metal panels is intended to recall elements of musical compositions and, in particular, the Fibonacci mathematical sequence found in art, literature, architecture and nature.
In addition to changing exhibitions, the museum will be the venue of the university’s significant collection of sculpture by the late Ruth Zuckerman. Many of these pieces will be soon be installed in the gardens through which visitors will pass as they approach the arts complex established with the addition of the museum building.