March 9th, 2014

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Written by Bridgette Meinhold, For Inhabitat.com

The Kimball Art Center has been a fixture on Main Street in Park City since 1976 and has long provided space for art exhibitions, education and events, especially the Sundance Film Festival held every January. However, the historic building does not provide enough space to meet the non-profits goals of fostering art and culture for the town. So, back in 2011 an international design competition resulted in a win by Bjarke Ingels and his design team with a dramatic timber addition next to the historic structure. Unfortunately, city codes along with some resistance from local residents kept this bold design from being realized.

BIG literally went back to the drawing board and came back with a new plan that meets code and appeals to a wider set in the community. The new extruded mountainous form inspired by local topography is kept low enough to meet height restrictions. A sloping site informs the building’s structure and glass along the street allow both pedestrians to peak inside the space and visitors to get a view of the street. The exterior will be made from board-formed concrete and natural light will infiltrate from skylights on the roof. We can expect that many of the original sustainability strategies will be included in the new design.

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While not as large as originally intended, the renovation will still provide additional space for the Kimball Art Center to achieve its goals by doubling its space. The 15,000 sq. ft. expansion will include large social areas, flexible use areas, a Children’s Interactive Discovery Center, an educational studio, additional administrative spaces and more support areas. In addition to the main site, the Kimball Art Center will be adding a second location to provide additional educational studio space with improved parking and access. Construction is expected to begin in 2015 with the support of local architecture firm, Elliott Work Group.

View more and explore the expansion proposal here

In addition to the preservation of the existing building, the new 15,000 sq. ft. expansion will provide:

  • The Kimball Art Center with over 9,000 square feet of museum/exhibition space
  • Large social areas
  • Flexible use areas

The renovation of the existing building will create spaces for:

  • A Children’s Interactive Discovery Center
  • An educational studio
  • Additional administrative spaces
  • Much needed support areas

This expansion will allow the Kimball Art Center to double in size to 30,000 square feet. The Kimball Art Center anticipate that this project will be privately funded.

They also plan on adding a second campus, which will allow them to offer even more opportunities for art appreciation and education. By moving the education studios to a second site, they will be able to:

  • Provide a greater range and frequency of classes
  • Provide better parking
  • Easily access student drop off and pick up