Kimball Art Center shows Bjarke Ingels Group concept for new building in Park City |

Kimball Art Center shows Bjarke Ingels Group concept for new building in Park City

The Kimball Art Center during last weekend’s Park City Kimball Arts Festival displayed a rendering of a concept under consideration for its new building in an arts and culture district planned along Kearns Boulevard. The Bjarke Ingels Group creation appears to attempt to reflect the mountainous surroundings.
Jay Hamburger/Park Record

The Kimball Art Center last weekend displayed a rendering of one concept under consideration for its new building in a planned arts and culture district along Kearns Boulevard, providing an early glimpse of an idea crafted by a famed European architectural firm.

The rendering was shown during the Park City Kimball Arts Festival. The event is believed to be the first time the image was made available to the general public. The Bjarke Ingels Group creation features a series of diamond-shaped and triangular-shaped elements that appear to attempt to reflect the mountainous surroundings. The rendering was part of a poster board that described the image as “The future!”

The image was one of the first significant pieces of information regarding the Kimball Art Center’s plans to be revealed in months. The Kimball Art Center and the Utah offices of the Sundance Institute are seen as the anchors of the arts and culture district. City Hall is leading the overall efforts in partnership with the two organizations. Much of the discussion has been internal, but a public process will eventually be launched as the Park City Planning Commission considers an application for the project later.

The Kimball Art Center initially sought to redevelop and expand its former location at the intersection of Main Street and Heber Avenue. There was public resistance to two Bjarke Ingels Group designs for the Old Town location as critics argued a modern design was out of place along the historic streetscape. The Kimball Art Center sold the Old Town property and currently occupies temporary space along Kearns Boulevard as plans for a permanent building in the arts and culture district are devised.

The Kearns Boulevard location of the arts and culture district offers far more architectural flexibility than the former Kimball Art Center site in Old Town, where City Hall’s strict design guidelines regulate development. The leadership of the Kimball Art Center sees the Kearns Boulevard corridor as offering the space and the architectural flexibility to allow Bjarke Ingels Group to craft an ambitious design. The Kimball Art Center desires a new building with more square footage for exhibits and classes.

The Kimball Art Center said the image that was on display last weekend is in the conceptual stage. In prepared answers to a Park Record inquiry about the design that was on display, the Kimball Art Center said there are “a number of concepts and they will continue to be tweaked over the coming weeks,” indicating it is “an evolving list.”

The organization said the leadership of the Kimball Art Center had not yet gathered to discuss the concepts.

“We’ve been so wrapped up in arts fest, and the initial concepts were just released, so we haven’t gathered as a group to get collective feedback yet,” the Kimball Art Center said.

The Kimball Art Center also said the project will meet City Hall development rules at the location. The design “will complement our natural surroundings while exuding the creative flair BIG is known for around the world,” the Kimball Art Center said, referring to Bjarke Ingels Group with the acronym BIG.

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