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Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, Missouri, United States

Tuesday 19 Feb 2008

A campus landmark

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28/01/10 Will Gerstmyer, Concord MA
I don't bother to comment on published architecture that is just plain sculpture, entirely for the architect's glory, or is ridiculous as a possible replicable model for a more integrated and public future, so, despite my comment below, I like to think of offering critique for nice, kindred spirits working at this firm. This friendliness is borne from a very different place than the new Modernist apologists who will like the building and use words of applause like "crisp" and “clean” as if that suggested a value statement whereas the terms are only positive if those adjectives actually help the client's mission and not just the portfolio of the firm. I also apologize in that, if I could visit this building, I might find more to like of the pleasantly austere masses and prisms of space. However - from just the photos- it appears that the interior spaces are quite dead, devoid of any of the found or created tension that might want to still be embedded in the design; this is a replay of the 80's when program-poor [glass] boxes were the "answer" to any lobby space. Here, each interior space is devoid of clues as to why they help make the space anything more than the leftover of severe editing (though editing and restraint can be an awfully useful trait to utilize). What, for instance, would anyone do/be made aware of/get informed about in this glass lobby (other than the occasional wine reception)? The outside expansive but "thin" landscape was already quite apparent before arrival and the framing of it does not shed new light on it, thus the glass wall becomes as blank as the stair wall and gives little relief to a fairly stingy-proportioned space.
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Kyu Sung Woo Architects complete the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art 

The Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, located on the Johnson Community College Campus in Overland Park, a suburb of Kansas City, is a landmark for the College and the largest contemporary art museum in a four-state region. The building was designed by Cambridge, Massachusetts- based Kyu Sung Woo Architects with Kansas City-based Gould Evans as the local architect.
The 38,000 square foot limestone and glass building is both complement to and a place apart from the existing campus buildings. The museum respects the campus precedent of buildings organized around courtyards but defers from the predominately brick campus buildings in its materials. Long rough cut stone walls and a 22-foot cantilever extend the building into the landscape and to community beyond.
The building houses 11,000 square feet of gallery space; 5,400 square feet of academic spaces including a 200-seat auditorium; a 2,400 square foot café; and 3,700 square feet of art storage.

Sharon McHugh
WAN US Correspondent

Key Facts

Status Completed
Value 0(m€)
Were you involved in this scheme?
KYU Sung Woo Architects, Inc.

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