BIG Design for Kimball Arts Center Selected


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Known as one of the premiere ski towns in America, Park City is now striving to become a destination for art lovers and enthusiasts with the remodel of the Kimball Arts Center.

The Kimball Arts Center is a 35-year old nonprofit community art center that is free to the public to enjoy. Art classes are offered for both children and adults and educational outreach programs are continually expanding. The Transformation Project for the Kimball Arts Center was created in mind to help extend the educational outreach and also enhance the quality and scale of exhibitions.

The Transformation Project for the Kimball Arts Center came to a conclusion last week, selecting the proposal of the BIG / Bjarke Ingels Group out of five. The Danish architect is well-known for his eco-friendly designs that incorporate a touch of playfulness.

Taking inspiration from the Silver King Coalition Mine Building, the tallest wooden structure in Park City built in 1901, Ingels designed the New Kimball Arts Center as an 80-foot tower stacked with former wooden railroad planks with a slight spiral to give a bit of an optical illusion. Ingels won the jury over with his design because the 1901 building burned down a couple decades ago; it's presence has been missed in the Park City skyline. He captured just enough of the old Park City spirit to seal the deal.

The $10 million expansion plan includes a renovation of the existing building with an adjacent structure that will feature a restaurant on the lobby floor, larger white-cube exhibits, a sunken theatre for dance and other art performances, a grassy roof terrace hosting a sculpture garden, and a winding wooden staircase that leads to the different levels.

Here is what the restaurant floor would look like--you can click on the picture to see a larger version.

Construction of the new Kimball Arts Center is expected to begin the spring of 2013 and finish in 2015. It will be built on the corner of Park Avenue and Heber Avenue.

To see the complete proposal, visit the KimballArtCenter.org website.

There will be an open house about the proposal at the Kimball Arts Center on Thursday, Feb. 16, from 3 p.m. and 6 p.m

What do you think of the new design? Do you think it will help the Kimball Arts Center become a cultural icon in the Western U.S.?