2009 | Ann Arbor, MI
Studio Critic: Josh Bard
The design for Ann Arbor's Museum of Contemporary Art addresses the two different scales present within the site's context. The north side of the site forms the boundary of Ann Arbor's commercial district, consisting primarily of mid-rise concrete buildings; while the south side is strictly residential, composed solely of one and two story homes. The building's form is split along the north-south axis to respond to these two scales. The larger, taller portion houses the exhibition spaces, and the smaller, lower portion accomodates the supporting programs.
The exterior of the building provides the city with public gathering spaces with two distinct characters. While the stepped south facade functions as a shading device to evenly light the exhibition spaces within, it also provides seating for public viewing of projected art installations. The north side of the building is a grassy slope supplying the city with much needed green space and providing an ideal spot for sledding in the winter.