The University of California, Davis has selected New York-based SO – IL to design the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art. The firm was chosen following a five-month competition that also included proposals from WORKac and Henning Larsen Architects. The centerpiece of SO – IL’s design is a 50,000-square-foot steel canopy that floats atop a series of interconnected interior and exterior spaces.
“The design for the new museum at UC Davis turns the traditional model of museum design inside out,” says UC Davis chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi. “From its curved glass walls to its soaring canopy, it will draw people in, surprise them, and engage them. All who enter this museum will become students again.”
The jury of faculty, architects, and museum professionals who selected the winning design cited its alignment with the essential characteristics of the university, its nod to the campus’s cultural connections, and its use of light. The panel considered other factors as well, such as the design’s potential to expand and evolve and its pursuit of LEED Gold certification for sustainability.
“Davis will be getting a piece of contemporary architecture that both serves the needs of the community and contributes to the advancement of the field,” says Stan Allen, former dean of the School of Architecture at Princeton University. He praised the design’s “quietly assertive presence” and “generous public spaces.”
SO – IL will work with architectural firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and contractor Whiting-Turner on the project. Construction is expected to start next year.