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Metropolitan Museum

Michael Maltzan Architecture

Metropolitan Museum
By Redazione The Plan -

Emblematic of the expansive growth and urbanization occurring in the California Central Valley- the most productive agricultural region in the world- the city of Fresno has become one of the fastest growing major cities in California. Experiencing the increasing pressure to provide a social and cultural life for the region within this shifting urban context, the Fresno Metropolitan Museum has embarked on an ambitious plan to expand not only its existing facilities but to rethink the nature of the institution, its contents and the ways in which it engages with the public and surrounding communities.
A visually permeable, almost evanescent form floating above the street, the new Museum presents both a startling iconic image against the repetitive urban grid and provides an expansive open public plaza underneath. The Museum is supported on three faceted volumes that contain the café/store, museum support and the lobby connected to the ASK Observatory visitor orientation space. Surrounding these volumes under the sheltering parasol-like canopy of the building is a seasonal reflective pool.  Dormant during winter, it becomes an open ground acknowledging the oblique patterns of movement through the city. During the intense temperatures of the summer months, the reflective pool floods and animates the faceted underside of the building, creating a cooler microclimate and a public point of destination. Above the plaza, the main gallery level contains two main components of the program: Permanent Science Galleries and the Flexible Art Gallery. The Permanent Science Galleries are organized into four themed environments (Food, Life, Water, Energy) dedicated to information, history and interactive exhibits on the Central Valley and city of Fresno.
The Flexible Art Gallery space is an environmentally controlled open sky-lit art space that accommodates a wide range of art exhibitions and installations and is suitable to house larger traveling exhibitions. Also on this...

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