Paths, benches and vegetated areas shape clear circulation routes through the museum courtyard. Meanwhile, changes in slope and planting density reveal views of the plaza and surrounding landmarks. Trails weave through the archways of the existing museum, inviting visitors to explore the gardens and enjoy views from the loggias and the new outdoor café. In the courtyard’s center, a main lawn and raised seating area provide space for a variety of museum events throughout the year.
Rising above the trees and plantings of the central Moody Patio gathering space, a canopy of petal sculptures creates a shaded microclimate with dappled light that follows the sun. The petals complement the museum and the Kelly chapel through a layering of geometry, landscape and light. Their curving outlines, inspired by the arched vaults of the loggia that outline the museum, help highlight views of Ellsworth Kelly’s Austin and the Texas State Capitol. Standing 40 feet tall, each petal is made of perforated panels and spans 30 feet in diameter. Together, they form a new front porch for Austin that reimagines the Blanton’s identity while celebrating the city’s art and culture.
The redesigned grounds will include a new site-specific mural by renowned Cuban-American abstract painter Carmen Herrera that was commissioned by the Blanton. It will be the first major public mural by Herrera. Sited on the interior wall under the Michener Gallery Building’s loggia, it will span the length of the building, with the museum’s entrance in the middle. This major Blanton acquisition is made possible thanks to generous support from the Kahng Foundation. Several other art installations will be announced in the coming months.
Construction is scheduled to begin in early 2021 and conclude by late 2022; the museum will remain open throughout.
About the Blanton Museum of Art:
Founded in 1963, the Blanton Museum of Art holds the largest public collection in Central Texas with around 19,000 objects. Recognized as the home of Ellsworth Kelly’s Austin, its major collecting areas are modern and contemporary American and Latin American art, Italian Renaissance and Baroque paintings, and prints and drawings. The Blanton offers thought-provoking, visually arresting, and personally moving encounters with art.
Snøhetta has created a comprehensive grounds redesign for The Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas at Austin. The new grounds initiative will unify and revitalize the museum campus across approximately 200,000 square feet (18.580 m2), including two buildings and Ellsworth Kelly’s Austin. The project creates a new cultural nexus where Austin’s civic […]