The new Manetti Shrem Museum features a 50,000-square-foot permeable canopy that extends over the sides of the building and blurs its edges. Architecture firms Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and SO-IL designed the new museum for the University of California in Davis, and created a space with evolving interiors influenced by changing light playing across interwoven curved and straight sections.
The light-filled, multi-use building was built to further the educational mission of the museum and become a new cultural destination for the entire community. It will offer spaces for exhibitions, classes, studios and communal activities, all nestled under a 50,000-square-foot floating ‘Grand Canopy’ made of perforated aluminum triangular beams.
Chosen from a design competition in 2013, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and SO – IL, together with construction company Whiting-Turner, created a building that redefines the concept of a university museum and the way in which the campus community will experience art.
“The museum’s design was inspired by the agrarian landscape of the Central Valley, which is rich in pattern, texture and color,” said Karl Backus, design principal from Bohlin Cywinski Jackson’s San Francisco office. “We incorporated these elements into the program of the building as a way to create smaller volumes and provide an approachable, human scale.”
Photos by Iwan Baan