Costa Mesa has a new neighbor: the Orange County Museum of Art, which unveils its new building to the public at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts on October 1. 8th
The $94 million building, designed by Morphosis Architects under the direction of Pritzker Prize-winning architect Thom Mayne has been at it for more than a decade. It features a grand open-air staircase, inspired by the steps at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, that will double as amphitheater seating for performances. There is a large-scale, site-specific sculpture by Sanford Biggers above the terrace, over 15,000 square feet of green space and nearly double the gallery space to display art.
Which is good, because the museum opens with five exhibits. including a survey of the work of 81-year-old New York-based sculptor Fred Eversley; a display of work by “13 pioneering women artists” in the OCMA collection that pays tribute to the museum’s 13 founding women: the institution was formed in 1962 as the Balboa Pavilion Gallery; and a resurrection of the museum’s long-running California Biennial.
But first, OCMA must finish construction. The Times took an exclusive photo tour of the space as the museum put the finishing touches on the building just weeks before it opened its doors.
The new Orange County Museum of Art, which was designed by Thom Mayne, opens its doors on October 1. 8. A key feature of the architecture is the porous, indoor-outdoor nature of the building, such as this terrace for installations, events, and general public use. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)
The angles and undulations of the building converse with its neighbor, the curvier Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)
One final touch: OCMA signage was carved into the exterior of the building just a few weeks before the opening. The building has been under construction for more than a decade. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)
Richard Serra’s monumental sculpture “Connector”, at far left, as seen from the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. To your left is a new seating-specific sculpture by Sanford Biggers on OCMA’s terrace above its grand staircase. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)
A glass-bottomed bridge connecting the educational pavilion and the museum cafeteria. The 53,000-square-foot building is twice the size of his old Newport Beach home. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)
The windows of the ground floor gallery, along the Avenida de las Artes, reflect the neighborhood. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)
The terracotta exterior of the OCMA building. The $94 million building completes the campus of Costa Mesa’s Segerstrom Center for the Arts. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)