Gallery: Oakland’s Renovated Museum is a Green-Roofed Urban Gem

Forty years ago the Oakland Museum of California introduced a radical, modern, and green concept for a public museum -- and that vision is now being updated and preserved in a major renovation. The brutalist design by Kevin Roche was hailed as a landmark for its massive garden roof, extensive courtyards and low-slung concrete buildings that, for a casual observer, could appear like a long-abandoned industrial complex from afar. A major renovation is underway to preserve the extraordinary vision of this urban park and cultural complex while enhancing the interior to provide adequate programs for today’s needs.

The 4 square-block museum displays traditional and contemporary art, natural history, and cultural history, although locals once referred to it as “the bunker” because of its low profile and many disjointed sections. The $62.2 million renovation by Architect Mark Cavagnero aims to change that by bringing in much more daylight and opening up the maze-like galleries. The renovation will allow the galleries to host extensive showings and will create a state-of-the-art archives for the more than 2 million objects in storage. The most obvious change is a new covered entrance and unified lobby. The isolated spaces are brought closer into circulation, encouraging visitors to mingle in Dan Kiley’s extensive gardens, the galleries and the patios.


or your inhabitat account below

1 Comment

  1. Green-Roofed Holocaust ... October 19, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    [...] to blend in with the park, offering a public open space. The exterior is very gracious, featuring a green roof with a series of walkways pressed into its undulating shape – pedestrians may not even be [...]

get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
Federated Media Publishing - Home