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On the Boards: BIG Wins Competition for Art Center in Sundance Festival’s Home City

February 14, 2012

By William Hanley

Kimball Art Center Expansion
Image courtesy BIG

Kimball Art Center Expansion. Click on the slide show button to view additional images.

 

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Rising star Danish architect Bjarke Ingels and his firm BIG have won a competition to greatly expand an art center in Park City, Utah, the ski town that hosts the Sundance Film Festival every January. The firm’s preliminary design for the Kimball Art Center—a 35-year-old, non-collecting institution currently housed in a two-story former garage—calls for renovating the existing space and adding an 80-foot structure that resembles two blocks of wood, stacked one on top of the other, with the upper section twisting away from the base.

The design for the new building, made from lengths of railroad lumber stacked at subtle angles, torques as it rises from the street like a game of Jenga. Its corner elevations evoke the downward-facing gables of an inverted log cabin. The form is a playful reference to a long-destroyed storage facility that was once a town landmark. The 30,000-square-foot scheme encloses exhibitions spaces, a restaurant, and gift shop on four levels inside the wooden hull, capped by a roof terrace.

Working with Salt Lake City firm Architectural Nexus, BIG beat out competing proposals by Brooks + Scarpa Architects, Sparano + Mooney Architecture, Will Bruder + Partners, and Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects. The project is expected to break ground in 2013 and cost upwards of $10 million, though fundraising has not yet begun.

 

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