MVRDV’s shortlisted entry in the competition to design the Portland Museum of Art was revealed on Friday with a community event and the opening of a public exhibition showcasing the designs of the four finalists. MVRDV led a team comprising Simons Architects, Stoss, The Institute for Human Centered Design, Pentagram, Atelier Ten, and DVDL in designing a flexible addition of community spaces, galleries, and more in a way that responds to the PMA’s “Art for All” vision.
The design concept for The Portland Museum of Art’s Campus Unification and Expansion will turn the museum inside out. It opens the museum to the city by inviting the public into the campus and enabling access from all sides. The campus becomes part of the streetscape, the city, and the community. The addition creates a new heart for the campus, a gathering place that solidifies the connection between the current museum and the new wing, between art and people.
With only a light touch, the PMA’s new wing is stitched into the campus with respect for the existing buildings. It becomes a collection of community and museum programmes stacked vertically, each floor with a distinctive use, atmosphere, and appearance. Publicly activated “spill-out spaces” weave around and overlap with these new programmes. They are connected vertically with a public route that juxtaposes adjacencies and cultivates synergies. These interstitial areas give the people of Portland a space for creativity, for display, for gathering, and for all manner of public expression. The new wing promotes exchange between the creative program and the community.
As a beacon of the new era for the PMA, the new wing will stand tall in the city. Exposed to all, it will seek attention and invite the city in, to experience, to explore, and to make it a part of their world. Art for all, unpretentious, messy, transparent, expressive, and a continuous work in progress.
Stoss Landscape Urbanism
Institute for Human Centered Design
Tillotson Design Associates
Woodard & Curran
John Bear Mitchell
Photo credits: ©MVRDV