If you caught the Valentine's Day heart installation in Times Square earlier this month (a.k.a. the only good thing about V-Day) then you already know Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), the Copenhagen and New York-based architecture firm that just nabbed the commission for Kimball Art Center's massive renovation and expansion project (and whose URL, big.dk, made me do a double-take). BIG has designed a host of impressive projects, including the Waste-to-Energy plant in Copenhagen, named by TIME as one of the top 50 most inspired ideas of 2011.
The $10 million expansion project for Kimball Art Center includes a renovation of the current site, a former garage in Park City, Utah that KAC has called home for the past 35 years. Ingels' design for the new building pays homage to the history of Park City, which was founded by miners in the 1860s. In 1901 the iconic Coalition Building, an 80-foot-tall timber structure, towered over the town for 80 years until it burnt down in the early 80s. BIG's new KAC museum, also 80-feet-tall, will draw on the Coalition Building's stacked timber construction in a form that gradually twists, resembling what Ingels calls "a highly evolved log cabin at an unprecedented scale."
A grand staircase will mimic this spiraling movement, leading visitors up through the exhibition spaces and out onto a rooftop terrace and sculpture garden. Materials will include reclaimed train track piles from the Great Salt Lake as well as new timber, marrying old and new in "a highly contemporary expression."
Construction will begin in 2013 with the new museum will open in 2015.