Back in 2012, BIG won a design competition to renovate the Kimball Art Center in Park City, UT. After two years of contemplation and discussion over the forward-thinking design, along with input from the city and community, BIG has updated their plans to a lower-key design inspired by the mountains surrounding the city. The expansion is not as large as previously planned, but many of the original concepts will still come through, including extensive use of daylight, natural materials and a respect for the historic nature of existing structures.
The Kimball Art Center has been a fixture on Main Street in Park City since 1976 and has long provided space for art exhibitions, education and events, especially the Sundance Film Festival held every January. However, the historic building does not provide enough space to meet the non-profits goals of fostering art and culture for the town. So, back in 2011 an international design competition resulted in a win by Bjarke Ingels and his design team with a dramatic timber addition next to the historic structure. Unfortunately, city codes along with some resistance from local residents kept this bold design from being realized.
BIG literally went back to the drawing board and came back with a new plan that meets code and appeals to a wider set in the community. The new extruded mountainous form inspired by local topography is kept low enough to meet height restrictions. A sloping site informs the building’s structure and glass along the street allow both pedestrians to peak inside the space and visitors to get a view of the street. The exterior will be made from board-formed concrete and natural light will infiltrate from skylights on the roof. We can expect that many of the original sustainability strategies will be included in the new design.
While not as large as originally intended, the renovation will still provide additional space for the Kimball Art Center to achieve its goals by doubling its space. The 15,000 sq. ft. expansion will include large social areas, flexible use areas, a Children’s Interactive Discovery Center, an educational studio, additional administrative spaces and more support areas. In addition to the main site, the Kimball Art Center will be adding a second location to provide additional educational studio space with improved parking and access. Construction is expected to begin in 2015 with the support of local architecture firm, Elliott Work Group.