Morphosis’ Orange County Museum of Art is a human-scaled building among giants
The Architect’s Newspaper
AUTHOR: Shane Reiner-Roth
The Architect’s Newspaper weighs in on the new Orange County Museum of Art design and its spatial relationships – the open-air quality of the plaza and interior, and how the museum interacts with the surrounding Segerstrom Center for the Arts.
Designed by Morphosis, the museum is clad in white terra cotta tiles that flow around and inside the main atrium to create a space that exists between indoor and outdoor. The undulating façade is reminiscent of a natural canyon carved out by flowing water, angling away from the ground to frame the plaza.
“Aside from its durability and ease of fabrication, terra-cotta was the ideal cladding material to demonstrate the craftsmanship that went into its production and reflect the artistry on display within the museum,” said Brandon Welling, Morphosis’s partner-in-charge.
Boston Valley fabricated the curved terra cotta units for the OCMA, and worked with Morphosis to rationalize the design. The façade was installed by Best Contracting, and the general contractor on the project was Clark Construction.
As a natural material, architectural terra cotta lends the building a bespoke, handcrafted quality without sacrificing the efficiency of manufacturing. Its inherent flexibility of form is what allowed us to achieve the complex profiles that make up the façade.
Header photo: ©Mike Kelley