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Orange County Museum of Arts, California, United States

Thursday 12 Jun 2008

OCMA relocates

Orange County Museum of Arts by Morphosis in California, United States
Orange County Museum of Arts by Morphosis in California, United States Orange County Museum of Arts by Morphosis in California, United States
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Thom Mayne takes lead in design for relocation and expansion 

The Orange County Museum of Arts, one of the finest mid-sized museums in America, has received legal title to 1.64 acres of land in the Segerstrom Center for the Arts: the museum will move from its quarters in Newport Beach to Costa Mesa. The 8 miles shift to one of California’s most vibrant art hubs presents an extraordinary opportunity for the OCMA at a crucial point in its history typified by major growth in programs, attendance, and visibility both locally and internationally.

The new site will allow the museum to grow significantly from its original 38,000 sq ft to a possible 72,000 sq ft if not more. The facility will be wholly owned and operated by the Orange County Museum of Art as an autonomous organization within Segerstrom Center for the Arts which is currently comprised of the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, South Coast Repertory Theater, and an arts plaza.

Henry Segerstrom, philanthropist and managing partner of South Coast Plaza, stated: “The addition of the Orange County Museum of Art will create a unique arts complex, one of the largest and finest in America. The museum’s opening will mark the milestone of a dream come true: the Segerstrom’s family’s long-held vision of Segerstrom Center for the Arts as an internationally recognized home for the visual and performing arts.”

The museum held an international architectural competition to find the best design for their future home and out of four candidates Thom Mayne’s Morphosis emerged as the winner.

Dennis Szakacs, director of the Orange County Museum of Art, said: “Thom has forged bold new forms of architecture, pioneered sustainable design, and created extraordinary buildings that capture the public’s imagination. We searched the world and found the right architect for us just up the street. Morphosis and the museum share similar values and together we will build the first great 21st century art museum in Southern California.”

Thom Mayne, Pritzker Prize Laureate in 2005 and founder of Morphosis, is internationally acclaimed for his technological bravura, monumental structures and radical designs such as the Caltrans District 7 Headquarters in Los Angeles, San Francisco Federal Building and the Phare Tower in Paris.

This will be Mayne’s first venture in designing an art museum The prestigious commission offers him the opportunity to explore new territories and to answer one crucial question: how can an art museum invigorate and maintain significance within the local and global context? He stresses that the OCMA will be the last piece of the puzzle within the Segerstrom Center and one of the challenges will be to make it both distinctive and "part of a campus, a collective of buildings".

The museum will sit amid the other iconic buildings part of the Orange County Performance Arts Center that have been designed in different decades: in 1983 Charles Lawrence designed the Performing Arts Centre and in 1999 Cesar Pelli was part of the creative team behind the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall.

None of the plans have been released as the museum and Morphosis are currently working to develop the final design: renderings and budget figures are scheduled to be released at the end of August. The land transfer agreement, executed between the OCMA and the Orange County Performing Arts Center, requires the museum to start construction no later than 2013 and to open its doors by 2016.

Laura Salmi

Key Facts

Status Design
Value 0(m€)

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