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$40m Crocker Art Museum expansion moves forward

Crocker Art Museum expansion

Crocker Art Museum’s $40 million expansion project moves forward with Olson Kundig appointed lead architect.

The Crocker Art Museum is planning to develop a three acre “multi-functional civic space” at Crocker Park, just north of the museum in Sacramento California. Seattle-based Olson Kundig has been chosen as lead architect. OK will partner with San Francisco-based landscape architects SURFACEDESIGN Inc.

The museum received over 50 submissions from architects around the world. Olson Kundig and SURFACEDESIGN were selected unanimously by the committee which included museum board members, staff, design professionals, and community leaders.

A project with true civic intent

The plan is to transform Crocker Park into a public, art-focused gathering place. There will be multi-level parking, and gallery, event, and programme space. The aim is to integrate the new area seamlessly with the museum’s existing buildings. It will complete the campus and provide the opportunity for new, immersive, art experiences.

“This project is all about bringing energy to a public space that can and should be activated 18 hours a day, seven days a week,” said Randy Sater, president of the Crocker Art Museum Association board of directors. “The Crocker is dedicated to designing a project with true civic intent.”

Olson Kundig and SURFACEDESIGN’s proposal shows the extension as a porous structure, blurring the lines that demarcate the museum’s indoor and outdoor space. The architects took inspiration from Sacramento’s agriculture and the city’s tapestry of trees.

“At the rich confluence of two mighty rivers, Sacramento, like its landscape, provides an opportunity to create a perfect mix of people, place, and culture. The Crocker is the perfect forum for this vibrant energy to come to life,” said James A. Lord, founding partner of SURFACEDESIGN.

“The park project fascinated me the moment I read about it,” said Alan Maskin, principal/owner of Olson Kundig. “It is a chance to create a beautiful and much-needed amenity, while at the same time reimagining the ubiquitous yet often overlooked urban typology of a parking garage.

“We are excited about the opportunity to establish a new icon for Sacramento, creating a place that merges art, architecture, and nature. We will look to collaborate with local artists and craftspeople who can help tell the story of Sacramento’s diverse communities.”

A new model for regional art institutions

The Crocker Art Museum is the longest continuously-operating art museum in the Western States. Crocker Park is expected to offer a new model for the interaction of regional art institutions with the local community. The project is set to connect the Crocker to the downtown area, the Sacramento riverfront, and West Sacramento.

“Sacramento is a city on the rise, and the Crocker has played a critical role in elevating our reputation nationally,” said Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “This is an extraordinary opportunity for the city of Sacramento and the Crocker Art Museum to collaborate on another transformational public project that will strengthen civic pride.”

Ground-breaking will probably take place around autumn 2020.

Olson Kundig recently revealed their plans for the new Bob Dylan museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Image: Crocker Art Museum

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