Emeryville Center for the Arts - ECA - Emeryville, CA 2010 Cultural Completed

This invited competition asked teams to envision a new home—a renovation of an existing building—for the Emeryville Center for the Arts (ECA). Emeryville’s polycentric nature, with multiple centers or clusters of people inhabiting distinctly different programmed zones throughout the city, preferences a strategy of distributed art center components, located in and between the various centers of the city. Looking beyond the competition site, envelope A+D proposed a matrix of distributed arts sites that encourages engaged exploration of the city, of discovery through wandering, with the idea that a distributed art center changes the perception as well as the identity of the city itself.

Distributed art and performance installations proliferate arts content into the community while casting the city itself as an arts destination. These installations are devices to focus and showcase ECA’s arts programing in venues well beyond the Art Center’s walls. Dispersing art, art education, and performance venues throughout the city generates a rich cultural landscape that engages people on an everyday basis.

The distributed arts network emanates from ECA’s main building, leading to the notion of an open, perforated site. The perimeter walls of the existing building are perforated to create a large entry that opens to the corner of Park and Hollis and provides multiple access points around the building. The perforated site both collects and disburses visitors throughout the site and actively sponsors art + performance throughout the site.

The design weaves together building program and internal operations into overlapping elements, creating an energetic, collective space between more defined program components. These overlapping program spaces tie back to the idea of the distributed art + performance network where art experiences happen simultaneously with everyday life. These overlapping program clusters create a mutable in-between space fostering interconnections and exchange, where people can get together across boundaries in relation to the making and the experience of art.

Presentation Slideshow - Presented to the ECA selection committee


San Francisco Chronicle - September 28, 2010