The home of Ellsworth Kelly’s iconic modernist chapel titled “Austin,” the Blanton Museum of Art has expanded its outdoor art environment with a sculptural installation by Snøhetta. The architecture and design firm (previously) began the project in 2018 with the ambitious task of reinterpreting an area of 200,000 square feet, containing two large buildings that are part of The University of Texas at Austin’s campus. Its downtown location provided an incredible opportunity to revitalize the space for public gatherings, civic events, and art installations, linking the university campus and city center and creating an architectural dialogue between interior and exterior.
A copse of Snøhetta’s “Petals” rise from the Blanton’s Moody Patio, which forms a gateway connecting Congress Avenue to the pedestrian spine of the university campus. The sculptures create an elegant arch, providing shade and dappling the pavement and surrounding buildings with specks of light that filter through perforated patterns. On not-so-sunny days, rain that falls into the petals is funneled into an underground collection system. The firm sought a design that “unifies the museum campus with the city’s prominent avenue through a choreography of planting, geometry, and art.”
The museum hosts an outdoor party in the courtyard patio every second Saturday of the month. Find more on Snøhetta’s website.
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