The Orange County Museum Of Art Breaks Ground On New Home At Segerstrom Center For The Arts

COSTA MESA, CA, September 20, 2019—The Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA) today broke ground on the museum’s new building at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, CA. Designed by Morphosis, the global architecture and design firm led by Pritzker Prize-winner Thom Mayne, the new 53,000-square-foot facility—defined by an open and engaging urban presence within Orange County’s largest center for arts and culture—will allow the Museum to expand on their legacy of community enrichment and presentation of modern and contemporary art from artists rooted in Southern California and the Pacific Rim. The new permanent home for the Museum, which was previously located in Newport Beach, is projected to open in 2021.

Orange County Museum of Art groundbreaking ceremony. Photo courtesy of OCMA

The Museum has announced, on the occasion of the groundbreaking ceremony, that it has now raised $47 million toward construction of the new building.

The groundbreaking ceremony for OCMA’s $73 million-project brought together Katrina Foley, Mayor, City of Costa Mesa; Todd D. Smith, OCMA Director & CEO; Craig Wells, President of the Board of Trustees; Annette Wiley, Board of Trustees Building Committee Chair; Anton Segerstrom, Trustee; and Mark Perry, Board Chair, Segerstrom Center for the Arts; as well as Thom Mayne, Design Director, Morphosis Architects; Carlos Gonzalez, Regional Executive Officer, Clark Construction Group; Costa Mesa City Council Members; Santa Ana Civic Officials; Consul Norma Edith Aguilar Andrade of the Mexican Consulate in Santa Ana; Laura Schwab, CEO of Aston Martin; OCMA collection artist Amir Zaki Alexandra Grant; and artists featured in OCMA’s new exhibitions at OCMAEXPAND-SANTA ANA, Daniel Duford, Robert Zhao Renhui, Yang Yongliang.

Orange County Museum of Art groundbreaking ceremony. (Left to Right) Anton Segerstrom, Craig Wells, Annette Wiley, Mayor Katrina Foley, Thom Mayne, Mark Perry, Carlos Gonzalez, Todd D. Smith.
Photo courtesy of OCMA

With nearly 25,000 square feet of exhibition galleries—approximately 50 percent more than in the former location in Newport Beach—the new museum building will allow OCMA to organize major special exhibitions of 20th and 21st century art alongside spacious installations from its world-traveled collection. It will also feature an additional 10,000 square feet for education programs, performances, and public gatherings, and will include administrative offices, a gift shop, and a café. Clark Construction Group will serve as the general contractor.

“We are so incredibly grateful to our donors for allowing us to take this important step towards realizing a new home for the Orange County Museum of Art at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. The breathtaking design by Morphosis will undoubtedly support our mission of enriching the lives of a diverse and changing community through innovative and thought-provoking presentations of modern and contemporary art,” said Mr. Smith.

“The location within the Segerstrom Arts complex, combined with OCMA’s focus on public programming, led us to develop a new architectural idea—a model for museums as part gallery space, part public plaza—which emphasizes their role as urban connective tissue rather than as iconic, stand-alone objects,” said Mr. Mayne.

“The new building will allow the museum to ultimately play an ever-larger role in southern California’s dynamic arts scene. For more than 50 years, the Orange County Museum of Art has been dedicated to providing the public in Orange County world-class arts programming, a mission which will only be advanced through the institution’s relocation to Segerstrom Center for the Arts.,” said Mr. Wells.

Design for the new museum
Designed to provide flexible and functional spaces while creating an inviting and memorable atmosphere, the building has a main floor dedicated to reconfigurable open-span exhibition space. Complementing this space are mezzanine and street-front galleries that can accommodate temporary and permanent collection exhibitions spanning a variety of scales and mediums. A spacious roof terrace, equivalent in size to 70 percent of the building’s footprint, serves as an extension of the galleries, with open-air spaces that can be configured for installations, a sculpture garden, outdoor film screenings, or events. Hovering over the soaring, light-filled lobby atrium is an inspiring and dynamic architectural space for performance and education, illuminated by a dramatic window overlooking the terrace.

On the outside, the design includes a grand public stair curves toward the entry, linking the museum to Segerstrom Center for the Arts’ Julia and George Argyros Plaza and the adjacent performing arts venues, and creating an inviting public gathering space for pedestrians and visitors. A façade of light-colored, undulating bands of glazed terracotta paneling, creates a distinctive character for the new building, playing off the forms and language of neighboring works of architecture.

The building’s design choreographs a rich and diverse visitor experience, from approach and entry to procession through the galleries, concluding with an invitation to linger on the steps, in the café, or in the museum store. With its gradient of architectural intensity, from complex forms at the museum’s entry to rectilinear and flexible forms within the galleries, the building is a memorable and striking environment that connects indoor and outdoor spaces.

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The Museum will inaugurate its third season at the temporary space at the South Coast Plaza Village in Santa Ana on September 21, 2019, with the opening of six new exhibitions of works by artists from the Pacific Rim, all of which consider the complexities of our relationship to the natural world. Artists represented include Carolina Caycedo (b. 1978, United States/Colombia), Daniel Duford (b. 1968, United States), Ximena Garrido-Lecca (b 1980, Peru/Mexico), Mulyana (b. 1984, Indonesia), Robert Zhao Renhui (b. 1983, Singapore), and Yang Yongliang (b. 1980, China).

Exhibitions (on view September 21, 2019 through March 15, 2020) to include:

–          Carolina Caycedo: Wanaawna, Rio Hondo and Other Spirits, organized by Cassandra Coblentz, OCMA Senior Curator and Director of Public Engagement

–          Daniel Duford: Underworld Stories Told in Tree Time, organized by Cassandra Coblentz, OCMA Senior Curator and Director of Public Engagement

–          Ximena Garrido-Lecca: Spectrums of Reference, organized by Cassandra Coblentz, OCMA Senior Curator and Director of Public Engagement

–          Mulyana: A Man, A Monster and The Sea, organized by guest curator John Silvis

–          Robert Zhao Renhui: Effect, organized by guest curator John Silvis

–          Yang Yongliang: Eternal Landscape, organized by guest curator Melanie Ouyang Lum 

About the Orange County Museum of Art
Along with its predecessor institution, the Newport Harbor Art Museum, OCMA has an established reputation as an innovative art museum with a history of actively discovering and engaging with living artists at pivotal points in their careers. The museum has organized and presented critically praised exhibitions that have traveled nationally and internationally to more than 35 museums. The museum’s collection of more than 4,500 works of art include important examples by artists from Southern California including John Baldessari, Chris Burden, Vija Celmins, Bruce Conner, Richard Diebenkorn, Robert Irwin, Catherine Opie, Charles Ray, and Ed Ruscha. Recognizing the growing influence of the Pacific Region within Southern California and the art world in general, in recent years the museum has broadened its focus to include artists of the Pacific Rim, transforming its biennial series into the California-Pacific Triennial, the first in the world to examine the totality of contemporary art from Pacific Rim. In the last five years, OCMA has featured works by artists from 26 Pacific Rim countries, including Australia, Cambodia, Canada, China, Colombia, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, South Korea and Vietnam.

As the preeminent visual arts organization in Orange County, OCMA is committed to making the arts accessible to all, and offers a host of programs that engage the community with contemporary art and artists.

Located in South Coast Plaza Village, OCMAEXPAND-SANTA ANA is the Museum’s temporary venue while it builds its Thom Mayne-designed new home at Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

About Morphosis
Morphosis is a global architecture and design firm, creating compelling work that is intelligent, pragmatic, and powerful. For more than 40 years, Morphosis has practiced at the intersection of architecture, urbanism, and design, working across a broad range of project types and scales, including civic, academic, cultural, commercial, residential, and mixed-use; urban master plans; and original publications, objects, and art. Committed to the practice of architecture as a collaborative enterprise, founder and Pritzker Prize-winning architect Thom Mayne works in tandem with Partners Arne Emerson, Ung-Joo Scott Lee, Brandon Welling, and Eui-Sung Yi, and a team of more than 60 architects and designers in Los Angeles, New York, Shanghai, and Seoul. At the root of all Morphosis projects is a focus on rigorous research and innovation, prioritizing performance-driven design that is environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable. Through its research arm, The Now Institute, the firm collaborates with academic institutions to create design-based solutions for the pressing issues of the day, from mobility, urban revitalization, and sustainability to public policy, planning, and community outreach.