MOCA is a 34,000 sq. ft. non-collecting museum designed by london-based Farshid Moussavi Architecture in the emerging Uptown district of Cleveland’s University Circle neighbourhood in Ohio. Located on the corner of a triangular site at the junction of two major roads, the building will act as a beacon for this area of the city.
The new Museum of Contemporary Art is arranged as a multi-storey building in order to produce a compact envelope and optimal environmental performance, and to liberate space for a museum plaza. The building in this location is exposed on all sides and has multiple entrances which will bring the museum added flexibility. Its prismatic form is clad in mirror black stainless steel panels which are arranged along a diagonal grid to follow the diagonal load bearing structure of the external envelope. These reflective panels will respond to weather changes and movement around the museum, providing visitors with constantly changing perceptions.
Upon entering the building, visitors will find the structure left exposed on the interior face of the envelope and treated with a fire-resistant, intense blue paint. The museum’s public and “back of house” activities will be interspersed along the section of the building and accessed physically and visually by a grand stair which ascends the museum’s vertical atrium. Each floor is designed to host a variety of configurations for maximum flexibility, with the blue inner surface which envelopes the different spaces providing a consistency across the various museum events. In the main gallery on the top floor, the blue surface will rise to form a deep blue ceiling, evoking the sky or a sense of boundlessness in contrast to the traditional idea of the gallery as a white, sealed, cube.
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images © Dean Kaufman – courtesy of Farshid Moussavi