E-JUST - Perspective


The Museum of Contemporary Art

1981 - 1986

California, U.S.A.

Cultural Facility

Site Area: 3,700 sqm

Building Area: 2,630 sqm

Total Floor Area: 9,060 sqm

Official Web Site

MoCA was planned as part of the redevelopment of the downtown district of Bunker Hill. Among the conditions set was to limit as much as possible the height of the museum so as not to interfere visually or spatially with the buildings in the adjoining Grand Avenue, or with the shopping mall which forms the base of a nearby condominium complex. At the same time, maximum exhibition space required by a major museum had to be provided. As a result, the greater part of the volume of the museum was contained beneath the plaza level. Geometrical shapes like pyramid-shaped skylights for natural light and the vault housing a boardroom are prominent; yet it is the red sandstone and avocado green coloration that help the museum, sandwiched between high rise buildings, assert its presence. To reach the galleries, one first goes down the stairs through the entrance courtyard. In plan, the building is basically made up of two square blocks placed on the extremes of a golden rectangle of ideal proportions, thus delimiting the entrance court.The patterns of circulation of the two blocks standing in opposition to each other are like two spirals, giving the whole a flowing pattern of interaction. As a reference to the Golden Section and concept of duality of East and West, it constitutes one of the fundamental concepts underlying this building. The white walls and wooden flooring in the galleries are optional as a neutral background for works of art, and the skylights in various shapes combine a spatial environment which meets the diverse needs of contemporary art.