The prismatic new Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland just opened its doors last weekend with a VIP kick off party, and the striking building is currently aiming for LEED Silver certification with a host of green building strategies. The Farshid Moussavi-designed building is the architect’s first museum project. Designed under a strict budget, the new museum is clad in mirrored glass that allows natural light into parts of the interior while reflecting the James Corner-designed plaza outside.
The museum joins a brand new public plaza designed by James Corner Field Operations which adds new green space to the neighborhood. Moussavi designed the structure to be comprised of triangular facades, each painted with black reflective glass or double-glaze windows. The geometric angles reflect the greenery of the new plaza at its doorstep, as well as the weather and ever changing sky of Cleveland, which fully experiences all four seasons.
The museum’s entrance is in a niche of a fully glazed glass triangle. The glass façade, which spans the three floors of the museum, ending in the peak of the triangle, floods light inside, which is diverted throughout via staircase passageways. Two very different stairway sets allow visitors to choose their own adventure when visiting the collection—either the open and airy atrium route, or the more private, direct route that is illuminated with LED lights.
The museum, which evokes a sculptural feel, gives the museum 34,000 square feet of exhibition space that can be easily adjusted for different shows, in addition to a large lobby for possible exhibition overflow. Moussavi’s building connects visitors to the outside when in, while appearing as a reflective mirage when approaching the entrance.
Secondary Image ©Thed Ferringer