David Adjaye designs a ‘Ruby City’

Nick Myall
Friday 18 Sep 2015

The Linda Pace Foundation announces details of its new Adjaye Associates-designed building in San Antonio, Texas, USA

A new Adjaye Associates-designed building will open to the public in 2018 in San Antonio, Texas, USA. 

The building is the vision and mandate of the Linda Pace Foundation’s Founder, Linda Pace (1945-2007), who was driven by the belief that art is a vital social force. World-renowned architect David Adjaye OBE has designed a building to exhibit the Foundation’s growing collection of over 800 paintings, sculptures, installations, and video works by international contemporary artists. 

The design presents a two-story structure with an exterior clad in crimson-hued panels of precast concrete with glass aggregate. The planes are punctuated by strategically placed, oversized windows directed toward park and city views. Largely rectangular, the building features a dramatic rooftop of sloping angles and skylights that rise to varying heights and echo cut-away spaces at the building’s base. Inside the lobby of the building, a grand staircase leads up to a series of three gallery spaces with concrete floors and white walls and ceilings. Totalling 14,000 sq ft, it will include 10,000 sq ft of exhibition space, with the remaining spaces devoted to administrative offices, and MEP.

The new building will be called Ruby City, based on a dream that Linda Pace had, which she sketched and shared with Adjaye during a visit he made to San Antonio in 2007. Ruby City will be situated on Camp Street, and will be part of the Linda Pace Foundation campus extending from South Flores Street to the San Pedro Creek. 

Ruby City is slated for a 2016 groundbreaking, and a public opening in 2018, timed to coincide with a year of celebrations commemorating San Antonio’s 300th birthday. 

The Linda Pace Foundation’s President, Rick Moore, says, “The building is envisioned as a beacon for San Antonio. The impact of the Foundation’s mission is already evidenced in San Antonio’s thriving contemporary art scene and its creative economy, fuelled, in part, by the rigor and success of Artpace’s international artist residency program, which—as a separate organization—receives grants from the Linda Pace Foundation. This is a testament to the living legacy of the Founder’s vision and the keen leadership of the Board and Staff of the Foundation.”

Explains Adjaye, “When I visited San Antonio in 2007, and met with Linda, we sketched out ideas and together, we envisioned a building that would resonate with her dream of the Ruby City. Like a city, the design offers an organic, heuristic encounter with the Foundation’s works and my hope is that it will become a place where artists and the wider community can be inspired to realise their own dreams through a meaningful experience with contemporary art.”

Linda Pace was an artist, collector, and philanthropist who died of cancer in 2007. Early in the year 2000, as Pace continued to expand her contemporary art collection, she began to seriously contemplate establishing an exhibition space to present the collection to the public. On April 28, 2003, she founded the Linda Pace Foundation with that goal in mind. Over the next several years, Pace researched architects and exhibition spaces.

Nick Myall

News Editor

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