Morphosis combines art & architecture for new cultural district
Edith and Peter O’Donnell Jr Athenaeum breaks ground at University of Texas at Dallas
The University of Texas at Dallas has broken ground on the Edith and Peter O’Donnell Jr. Athenaeum, a new cultural district designed by Tenderstream member Morphosis. Located on approximately twelve acres of land, the district will create a new gateway to the University as well as a destination for students, faculty, staff and the local community that is intended to foster engagement in the arts and learning.
The masterplan by Morphosis combines architecture and landscape, with the heart of the Athenaeum defined by a two-acre plaza, featuring landscaped gardens, tree-lined walkways, paved open spaces with benches and water features, an amphitheatre, and contemporary sculpture. Three buildings are situated on the western edge of the plaza: The Crow Museum of Asian Art, a performance hall, and a museum for the traditional arts of the Americas. On the eastern side, a three-story parking structure is masked by a free-standing wall.
The three cultural buildings are all designed with second floors that are larger than the ground floor, creating covered exterior spaces, where the buildings, plaza and landscaping fuse together to form intimate spaces that can be used for studying, building entry, events and gatherings, performances, art display and everyday campus life. Each building is clad with white precast concrete panels featuring a 3D pattern created through an innovative process designed by Morphosis.
Arne Emerson, Morphosis partner and the design partner leading the project, stated: “Morphosis is pleased to partner with The University of Texas at Dallas for this important project, giving us the opportunity to help shape the University’s bold vision for the arts on campus. The O’Donnell Athenaeum will transform the UT Dallas campus with buildings and open spaces for the visual and performing arts that will allow both students and the surrounding community to experience the convergence of art and architecture in ways not previously possible at the University.”
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