In this third installment of the Kimball Art Center Transformation proposals, we explore the design by the only local firm of the 5 design teams who presented. Sparano + Mooney, who have worked both locally and internationally, culled their inspiration from the Aspen tree, which is found throughout Utah and is a favorite for its beautiful fall colors. The Aspen grows by extending its root system to shoot up new trees, which is similar to how the Kimball Art Center extends its influence and connects with the surrounding art community. Wood sourced from beetle-kill deforestation in the local area will be used as both decoration as well as structural members to give a sense of being in the forest and surrounded by nature. The design also calls to mind western vernacular log cabins and shows how materials can be transformed to create a wholly unique spatial experience.
The lower level of the center will be devoted to education through classrooms, art studios and workshop space available to members of the community, local and visiting artists. The historic facility will be transformed into office and administration spaces for the staff of the Kimball along with a full catering kitchen. Meanwhile, the new facility will feature the gallery and exhibition spaces. The ground floor serves as the living room of the area and welcomes visitors in to enjoy the art and the activities with a cafe and retail space. The new upper level is the main gallery space and enjoys access to the rooftop deck and the rooftop terrace along with views of town.