Costa Mesa has a new neighbor— the Orange County Museum of Art, which debuts its new building to the public at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts on Oct. 8.
The $94-million building, designed by Morphosis Architects as directed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Thom Mayne, has been in the works for more than a decade. It features a grand outdoor staircase, modeled after New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art steps, that will double as amphitheater seating for performances. There’s a large-scale, site-specific sculpture by Sanford Biggers atop the terrace, more than 15,000 square feet of green space and nearly double the gallery space to show art.
Which is a good thing, because the museum is opening with five exhibitions including a survey of work by 81-year-old New York-based sculptor Fred Eversley; a show of work by “13 pioneering female artists” in OCMA’s collection that pays homage to the museum’s 13 female founders — the institution was formed in 1962 as the Balboa Pavilion Gallery; and a resurrection of the museum’s long-running California Biennial.
But first, OCMA must finish construction. The Times got an exclusive photo tour of the space as the museum put finishing touches on the building just weeks before opening its doors.
The new Orange County Museum of Art, which was designed by Thom Mayne, opens its doors on Oct. 8. A key feature of the architecture is the porous, indoor-outdoor nature of the building, such as this terrace for installations, events and general public use. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)
The building’s angles and undulations sit in conversation with its neighbor, the more curvy Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)
A final touch: the OCMA signage being sculpted onto the building exterior just weeks before the opening. The building has been more than a decade in the making. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)
Richard Serra’s monumental sculpture “Connector,” far left, as seen from the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. To its left is a new, sit-specific sculpture by Sanford Biggers on OCMA’s terrace atop its grand staircase. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)
A glass-bottomed bridge connecting the museum’s education pavilion and cafe. The 53,000-square-foot building is double the size of its former home in Newport Beach. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)
Ground floor gallery windows, running along the Avenue of the Arts, reflect the neighborhood. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)
The OCMA building’s terra cotta exterior. The $94-million building completes the campus at Costa Mesa’s Segerstrom Center for the Arts. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)