Brooks + Scarpa reveals cloud-like designs for Kimball Art Center in Park City, Utah
Brooks + Scarpa refer to their latest design as a ‘Cloud’. The weightless addition to Park City’s Kimball Art Center in the heart of this stunningly scenic Utah community is one of five final concepts and is composed by the Los Angeles-based architects who last year won a total of ten high-profile design awards.
The Kimball Art Center is a non-profit base for the arts and, as a key constituent of Park City’s educational programme, offers a range of exhibitions and events to engage local residents with many forms of art. Completed in 1929, the existing volume is rather heavy, its simple red brick form blending into Park City’s urban realm.
Brooks + Scarpa is looking to balance this solid mass in their competition entry by introducing a ‘light and airy’ extension to hover above the existing form and ‘bring the mesmerizing and seemingly endless deep blue Park City sky directly into the space of the city’. This 22,000 sq ft addition sports a bold aesthetic, with the upper floors composed of a conventional glazing system covered by a translucent honeycomb rain screen which plays a role in the building’s thermal performance.
Lower down the extension, the facades would be formed of highly transparent glass to enable passersby to develop visual connections with the internal space and view the production of artworks onsite. This relationship with Park city residents is further enhanced by a generous external court which is open to the public but also enables the adjacent metal-smithing, welding and glass studios to work in the open air.
Lawrence Scarpa, Principal at Brooks + Scarpa, explains: “It became clear to me that our design should reflect the community and the process of making art rather than simply displaying it and that the center should physically by very open to the street and community. In a sense the building should not only become a vibrant community place but part of the everyday life of the community. Rather than simply displaying art to the community, the process itself can be on display.”
Brooks + Scarpa Architects is one of five practices in the final stages of a design competition for the Kimball Art Center extension project. The other firms are Bjarke Ingels Group, Sparano+Mooney Architecture, Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, and Will Bruder + Partners Ltd.