UC Davis Art Museum . California

Kitchell . WORKac . WRL . images: © Regents of the University of California, Davis campus

A bold, open-faced icon along an outermost edge of UC Davis’ campus, the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art re-imagines the intersections among art, higher education and everyday life.

The Slant
A beacon to students and
visitors alike, the building renders UC Davis’ long history of engagement with the arts visible to the campus and city
beyond. Through a careful and innovative reordering of traditional museum conventions, the highly-accessible
building becomes a platform for collective learning, creation and experimentation—a showcase for UC Davis’ artistic
legacy and its evolution as a cutting-edge cultural force and an integral and vibrant hub for future student
To emphasize the building’s role as a destination for multiple audiences, the team devised a simple and striking
parallelogram form that maximizes opportunities for public space throughout the site. Two corners of the building
are lifted to create distinct facades facing the campus and the adjacent highway, forming a dramatic sloping roof that
houses an array of spaces, views and experiences. The slope of this roof, its orientation and its light metal cladding
together produce an inherently efficient envelope that minimizes solar heat gain and the energy needed to cool the
This roof becomes a graceful canopy extending over a new plaza to create a large shaded public outdoor space,
opening toward the larger campus and further underscoring the public nature of the museum. Continuing the theme
of connecting the museum’s activities to the surrounding campus, the proposed landscape is strategically designed to
“stitch” the new building to the site with a series of outdoor rooms—spaces that complement and blend with the
museum’s interior

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