Crocker Art Museum Completes Construction of Expansion Designed by GSAA

Crocker Art Museum Completes Construction of Expansion Designed by GSAA

The Crocker Art Museum has completed construction of a 125,000-square-foot expansion designed by Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects (GSAA). Opening to the public on October 10, 2010, the Teel Family Pavilion will more than triple the museum's current size and enhance its role as a cultural resource for California and the state's many visitors. One of GSSA co-founder Charles Gwathmey's last major public projects, the Crocker Art Museum expansion complements the 125-year-old museum's historic structures, which include one of the first purpose-built art museum buildings in the United States. More than $92 million has been raised towards the Crocker Art Museum's $100 million capital campaign goal.

"Works of art can link people together across boundaries of time, and culture, and world views - the ability to have a personal or shared encounter with art is a critical aspect of vibrant civic life," said Lial Jones, Director of the Crocker Art Museum. "California's Central Valley has one of the nation's fastest-growing and most diverse communities, and with our expansion we are increasing our ability to serve those communities, strengthen the civic fabric, and draw cultural travelers to Sacramento."

"Having been a part of this project since master planning first began, it's been tremendously exciting to watch the building take shape, and now to see construction complete," said project architect Gerald Gendreau. "The design for the new Crocker Art Museum is about adding to the urban collage -- complementing the historic Art Gallery building, tying to the green space that fronts the Museum, even engaging travelers on the adjacent highway -- all while giving the Museum flexible spaces for growth now and into the future."

In addition to extensive new galleries for temporary exhibitions and the display of the Crocker's permanent collection, The Teel Pavilion will include expanded educational and art studio space, a teacher resource center, a space for participatory arts programming for children and adults, an expanded library, and a new student exhibition space and teaching galleries. The Anne and Malcolm Henry Works on Paper Study Center will greatly improve access for visiting scholars studying the Crocker's outstanding master drawings collection, and for the public. The expansion will also provide space for onsite collections care and storage, as well as a new conservation lab. New public amenities, including a 260-seat auditorium, a cafe with indoor and outdoor seating, and a redesigned Museum Store, are also being added. The first floor will be open to the public free of charge and free Wi-Fi will be available.

GSAA's compositional strategy for the project was aimed at establishing a uniquely iconic presence for the new addition, while framing the existing complex in a coherent physical dynamic. The result is a collaged image for both the new and historic structures: the new addition is rotated on a due north/south axis, disengaging it from the existing orthogonal street grid and Crocker complex, which reinforces its contrapuntal siting and massing; inside, the new galleries are directly connected to the existing Art Gallery building, allowing for a continuous circulation from the new to the old structures-both vertically and horizontally-and totally integrating the entire complex. GSAA's signature approach-collaborative, site-specific, sensitive to the needs of the client-helped bring together all these diverse elements as scheduled to bring the renovated Crocker on par with new museum architecture around the world.

Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects

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