Austin Museum of Art
Austin Museum of Art
Austin, Texas

"Richard Gluckman has created a world-class piece of architecture that excites and inspires while at the same time giving us a highly functional museum.” - Stephen Becker, Chair, AMOA Building Committee

The site for the Museum is located in the center of downtown Austin, bordering the southern edge of Republic Park. The building has been held back, extending the spatial reading of the Park into the Museum Plaza, creating a “Front Porch” for the Museum. A major design feature of the building at ground level on the main, north facade is a gently curving wall, to be constructed of clear glass panes and aluminium fins, that will wrap around the northeast corner to enclose the Art & Technology gallery. The translucent glass walls on the upper levels of the main facade will allow the surface to act as a projection screen for works of art to be viewed from the outside while emitting a glow from inside. The inner layer of the double wall of glass will consist of fabric scrim panels that will allow diffuse daylight to pass into the lobby.

The museum will feature 25,000 square-feet of galleries including two “Centerpiece” galleries for major traveling exhibitions, a large gallery for contemporary art, an Art and Technology gallery, a Sculpture Garden, and five galleries for the permanent collection. The education center will include multi-purpose classrooms, a children’s hands-on gallery and an orientation center. In addition, the museum will include three levels of parking, a restaurant, museum store, a 300-seat theater, interior courtyard and rooftop terrace. A two-level interior light court and an exterior sculpture garden on the south side of the building will provide areas for quiet contemplation and relaxation.

On the interior, horizontal bands of rough-hewn, heavily clefted limestone, quarried in Central Texas, will finish many of the principal interior walls.
The limestone will provide a strong sense of materiality within the lobby, light court, and Sculpture Garden, as well as along the circulation routes on the second level. Controllable, natural lighting, provided by a unifying cast-in-place skylight system made from concrete ribs supporting bars of skylights, is an important feature of the galleries. This skylight system will be located at the upper edges of the building analogous to a cornice and will offer the possibility of dramatic night time illumination that will define the perimeter of the facility.

Exterior Materials include pre-cast concrete, clear and translucent glass, aluminium, bead-blasted stainless steel, lead-coated copper and poured-in-place concrete. Interior Materials include poured-in-place concrete, heavy-cleft limestone, clear and translucent glass, terrazzo, aluminium, bead-blasted stainless steel and white oak. The building's structure is primarily cast-in-place concrete in 30-foot bays with 60-foot spans where needed. The framing members are expressed in the gallery skylights and over the lobby where the structure cantilevers over the plaza to form the roof deck. They provide the clear spans for the galleries and serve as an example of the kind of clarity, economy, and strength that are qualities of the building that the structure will express.


6 photos and 1 drawing