Architecture, Community Engagement
Concordia’s renovation of the Contemporary Arts Center creates a richly layered building that integrates site specific installations to complement the historic architecture. The striking century-old wood structure was revealed to create a large three dimensional grid throughout the museum, with exposed ductwork, metal railings, and concrete referencing the building’s industrial past. A curving ramp surrounds an elliptical white shaft of exhibit space that transitions between the soaring street front atrium and new gallery and administrative spaces in the rear of the building.
The design team adopted a theme that celebrates local archetypes, symbols and images, each piece is integrated into the museum design. The architectonic sculpture elements include a four-story elevator shaft, a painted steel frieze, a cast glass front desk, an information kiosk, a donor recognition display, and exterior wall sconces. These pieces are placed in the main circulation and gallery spaces adjacent to the open, light filled atrium. Concordia worked with national arts advisers and local curators to select the artists through a process of interdisciplinary collaboration.