Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland Releases Design by Foreign Office Architects for Innovative New Building

By The Museum Of Contemporary Art Cleveland, PRNE
Thursday, July 15, 2010

CLEVELAND, July 16, 2010 - The Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland (MOCA) today unveiled the design
for its new facility. The US$26.3 million project will be the first major
building in the United States-and the first museum-for the internationally
acclaimed firm Foreign Office Architects (FOA), London. MOCA anticipates
breaking ground in fall/winter 2010.

    (Photo: )
    (Photo: )

The nearly 34,000-square-foot, four-story structure will be forty-four
percent larger than the Museum's current facility, and will provide MOCA with
street presence for the first time in its forty-plus-year history. Located at
the intersection of Euclid Avenue and Mayfield Road, it is a flagship project
of Cleveland's emerging Uptown district (see below).

FOA's design-devised for both environmental and fiscal sustainability-is
at once technically inventive, visually stunning, and highly practical. It
responds ingeniously to its triangular site by creating a building with a
hexagonal base that rises to a square roof. From the exterior, the structure
will appear as an inventive massing of six geometric facets, some flat,
others sloping at various angles, all coming together to create a powerful
abstract form.

Clad primarily in mirror-finish black Rimex stainless steel, the facade
will reflect its urban surroundings. Window glazing will be tinted to
assimilate with the reflective skin, so the building will read as a unified
volume during the day, while at night interior lights will create a dynamic
pattern on the dark surface.

Three of the building's six facets, one clad in transparent glass, will
flank a public plaza. From here, visitors and passersby may look through the
transparent section, site of the Museum entrance, into the ground floor. Once
inside, they will find themselves in an atrium from which they can visually
grasp the dynamic shape and structure of the interior. This space will lead
to the Museum's lobby, cafe, and shop, and to a double-height multi-purpose
room. From here, visitors may take the staircase-itself a monumental
sculptural object-or an elevator to the upper floors.

As a non-collecting institution MOCA did not need to accommodate
collection galleries, and FOA was free to design the main exhibition space
for maximum flexibility. This has been achieved by placing the main
6,000-square-foot gallery on the top floor, where it will be structurally
unencumbered. This level will also contain a gallery for new-media work and a
lounge with a view of the city. The second and third floors combine
exhibition and programming space with "back of house" and administrative

In addition to FOA, the design team for the new Museum includes executive
architects Westlake Reed Leskosky, headquartered in Cleveland and designers
of cultural buildings throughout the United States.

The Uptown district, an eight-acre urban-revitalization project, has been
undertaken by Case Western Reserve University, developer MRN, Ltd., and other
institutions in Cleveland's University Circle neighborhood. The district will
be anchored by the new MOCA and the expanded Cleveland Institute of Art
(designed by Burt, Hill with MVRDV), and will also provide new commercial
space and residential units to be designed by Stanley Saitowitz/Natoma
Architects Inc. Designer of the district's public realm is James Corner,
principal of the landscape architecture and urban design firm Field

Note to Editors:

A picture accompanying this release is available through the PA Photowire.
It can be downloaded from or viewed at or

Stephanie Markovic, Jeanne Collins & Associates, LLC, New York City, +1-646-486-7050, info at

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