Location: Fresno, California (USA)
Client: Fresno Metropolitan Museum
Size: 10,000 m2 expansion & renovation of heritage building
Type: Art and sciences museum, cafe, bookstore, offices, art storage
Scope: Programming and master planning
Status: Phase I completed 2008
Envisioned as a pivotal project in the revitalization of downtown Fresno, the immense cantilevered building shelters a public plaza at street level. A series of informal paths within and among the building’s three central supports, encourages movement and activity across the entire urban block. Above the plaza, the regional art and science museum is organized around a series of permanent science galleries and a large flexible art gallery. From this Gallery Level, lifted thirty feet above the plaza, visitors can access the roof via an open-air amphitheater, which serves both as the museum’s larger media center and as a forum for independent cultural events including evening film screenings. At this rooftop vantage point, visitors can comprehend the museum’s position within the city and its larger, regional context.