Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art
Studio: SO – IL + Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
Project: Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art
Location: Davis, USA
Project Category: Dreaming
Photo credits: Iwan Baan
The Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art at the University of California at Davis is the first contemporary arts museum for the university and the city of Davis.
SO–IL’s design amplifies the Museum’s diverse arts programming and reflects the legacy of avant-garde art making at the University. With formal classrooms and art studios that open into the lobby, the Museum is a living experiment for teaching, making and interacting with art. Smooth zones of the corrugated façade allow for outdoor screenings and a glass-walled courtyard also functions as an outdoor gallery for sculpture.
The overarching ‘Grand Canopy’ extends a rolling form patchworked with aluminum beams over both site and building. An environmental silhouette, the design references the site’s agricultural context and announces a new social node and emblem for the University. Casually taking root at the edge of the campus, the unique form of the canopy draws visitors from a distance.
The subtle interplay of light and shadow across the public plaza helps blur the boundary between civic and institutional spheres. Inside, a glass-walled lobby invites interaction as the convergence of viewing, learning, and making areas. These interconnected interior and exterior spaces create informal opportunities for experiencing art and learning, supporting the museum’s mission to have all visitors become students.