Tod Williams & Billie Tsien Unveil Their Nature-Inspired Design for the Kimball Art Center

by , 01/09/12

Kimball Art Center, TWBTA, tod williams billie tsien architects, kimball art center renovation, green renovation, art center, park city, utah

Of all the designs for the renovation of the Kimball Art Center in Park City, UT, this one is the most disappointing.* Based on the previous work of TWBTA, expectations were much higher for an original and thoughtful design. Their Box of Sky and Shadow concept is essentially a regurgitation of the American Folk Art Museum, the Phoenix Art Museum and the David Logan Center for Performing Arts. While one can certainly appreciate the concept to capture views of the surrounding landscape, the rest of the design hardly reflects the character and community of the Park City area.

Internally, the programmatic layout has some merits and TWBTA doesn’t relegate the studio and education space to the basement levels like some of the other designs have though. By placing the studio and classrooms at ground level with windows to the street, those passing by are able to view one of the key functions of the center – art education. Flexible space and a large rooftop deck also provide a number of areas for events. The sustainability strategy is there in concept but doesn’t seem to be wholly thought through. In the end, TWBTA’s proposal seems as though it was hastily put together and a cut and paste collage of their other projects.

+ Tod Williams & Billie Tsien Architects

+ Kimball Art Center

Images © TWBTA courtesy of the Kimball Art Center and © Bridgette Meinhold

* Bridgette Meinhold calls Park City, UT home and is intimately involved in the activities of the Kimball Art Center. She has watched the design competition closely since it first began and will continue to provide in-depth, first hand info on the project as it evolves.

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1 Comment

  1. Carey Keller May 13, 2012 at 10:41 am

    An incredibly talented couple! I sat next to Mr Williams on plane from T C to Chicago last summer. Had no idea of his status in the architectural field. I mentioned we built a cottage in leelanau county, which kick started an animated conversation about architecture.

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