UC Davis Today: Imagine your new museum

  • Drawing: the exterior etched glass roofline of a building

    "The Slant" by the New York firm WORKac maximizes opportunities for public space, and the design creates a destination for multiple audiences.

  • Dan Wood of Kitchell/ WORKac/ Westlake Reed Leskosky explains "The Slant" model during the Nelson Gallery reception.

  • Drawing: night view of exterior of a building showing broader area

    The strategic shading of "The Slant" minimizes the need for air conditioning while the glazed surfaces provide openness.

  • A visitor takes a close look at "The Slant" model.

  • Drawing: interior view from second story showing spaces and stairway to first floor

    WORKac designed the museum to ensure optimal control of lighting, partially dimming when galleries are unoccupied to conserve energy.

  • Drawing: Exterior of a building with an accentuated triangle roof

    This design by the Scandinavian firm Henning Larsen Architects is called "The Leaf," a metaphor for the roof canopy of the building.

  • Michael Sørensen, lead architect for Oliver and Company/ Henning Larsen Architects/ Gould Evans, adjusts the roof of "The Leaf."

  • Drawing: Exterior view looking toward Mondavi Center showing outdoor public spaces

    In "The Leaf," a "hangout" ramp extends from the ground level to an upper-level public courtyard, mimicking the shade of the arboretum.

  • Rachel Teagle, museum director (top left), talks about the museum designs.

  • Drawing: Interior of two story lobby in a building showing art and people

    North-facing glass in "The Leaf" makes use of natural light but limits heat coming from the sun.

  • Drawing: Exterior view under the roof of public open space

    The "Grand Canopy" by SO – IL of New York has a permeable cover over the site and building, creating a new symbol for the campus.

  • Ilias Papageorgiou, right, with the team Whiting-Turner/ SO - IL/ Bohlin Cywinski Jackson talks about the design "Grand Canopy."

  • Drawing: Exterior perspective of the proposed museum from across the street

    Under the canopy, the SO – IL site forms a landscape, resulting in interconnected interior and exterior spaces.

  • A model shows the interior details of "Grand Canopy."

  • Drawing: Aerial view of museum exterior showing Vanderhoef Quad and farmland in the distance

    The "Grand Canopy" open roof works as a stage for events and as an urban device that creates a new center of gravity on campus.

Imagine your new museum

About the competition

Rachel Teagle in the Nelson Gallery speaking

Videography by Joe Proudman
(1 min 32 sec)

The public is invited to view the three finalist proposals for UC Davis’ new art museum that is envisioned as an inspiring teaching and cultural resource for the region. 

After an intense, four-month competition, the architect-contractor teams will show their drawings and three-dimensional scale models for the planned Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, at the UC Davis Conference Center. The drawings and architectural models will also be on display from Thursday, April 4, through Sunday, May 19, at the Nelson Gallery.

The winning design will be announced in mid-May, following a series of community forums to receive input about the museum from students, faculty, staff and the community. Construction is anticipated to begin next year. 

The museum will include the Fine Arts Collection at UC Davis, which contains more than 5,000 works from antiquities to contemporary art. The building will be built on a 1.6-acre site near the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, the UC Davis Conference Center and Maurice J. Gallagher Jr. Hall. It will serve as the capstone of a planned “arts district” at the university’s new front door alongside Interstate 80. 

The new museum taps into UC Davis’ innovative artistic tradition dating back to the 1960s. Today the university boasts a nationally recognized Department of Art and Art History. It also has a program in Cinema and Technocultural Studies

Renderings from the three architectural finalists show what the new museum could look like. From left: Henning Larsen Architects’ “The Leaf,” SO – IL’s “Grand Canopy” and WORKac’s “The Slant”; also, photos in slideshow by Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis

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