Art Depot Nexus

Doris Perkins, Daniel Lara
University of Texas at Arlington
United States of America

Project idea

The project is located in Houston, Texas, and entails the removal of the existing house and the current Jung Center Museum. In their place, a new building will be constructed to house the art of the Jung Center Museum and art storage exhibition. This new development aims to provide an updated and improved space for the museum's exhibits, community and activities.

The primary goals of this project are to provide efficient and flexible storage and display solutions for various types of artworks, such as paintings, ceramics, mobile pieces, and sculptures, ensuring that art is encountered throughout the building.

Art Depot Museum Concept

The building program circulates the center pavilion. The building contains and connects with all street edges. Montrose and Berthea, particularly Montrose, are the most trafficked streets in terms of activity. The site's main entry opens up to the Cullen sculpture garden on the other side of Montrose, redirecting visitors to the site. The elevated Cantilever allows visitors to engage with the surroundings and the Pavilion. The Pavilion is visible from the street.

Additionally, the project emphasizes sustainability through the use of durable materials like metal panels and translucent polycarbonate, as well as the incorporation of rainwater harvesting and solar panels. The building features an innovative rooftop greenhouse that integrates with the mobile art installations. This unique combination not only enhances the aesthetic appeal but also serves a practical purpose.

The greenhouse cultivates vegetation used in the building's restaurant, promoting a farm-to-table concept. This integration of art and sustainable agriculture creates a harmonious space that supports both cultural enrichment and environmental responsibility, providing fresh produce for the restaurant while offering visitors a unique and engaging experience.

The building features a central temporary pavilion designed as a dynamic gathering space. This pavilion serves as a focal point for social interactions and community engagement, enriching the building's role as a vibrant cultural hub.

The building's curvilinear design is inspired by the desire to create a unique structure that stands out on the site. Unlike the other buildings, which are predominantly rectangular, triangular, or square, the Art Nexus Depot features a distinct, flowing form. This design choice not only sets it apart aesthetically but also underscores its role as a community building, providing a welcoming and dynamic space for artistic and social gatherings.

Project description

Building Volumes:

The proposed building is composed of 3 different volumes. The Jung Center is located in the smaller tower where it is currently located. Horizontal and vertical volumes contain the artwork storage. The artwork is based on their respective types, configurations, loading artwork, and lighting. Art painting & ceramic in the center loops. The sculpture is on level 5 and throughout the taller volume of the building—and finally, mobile art on the 3rd floor. Art is distributed throughout the building, ensuring that visitors encounter artistic expressions in every area they explore.

Moving through the building:

The entrance to the building is located at the corner of Montreal Street, adjacent to the park. Upon arrival, visitors will encounter a central pavilion. From this point, they can choose to explore three main areas: the Art Depot building, the restaurant, or the Jung Center Museum.

As visitors move through the space, they will come across the painting and ceramic storage exhibition, which serves as the central hub of the building. Moving further up, the rooftop offers various spaces adorned with greenery, vegetation, and seating areas.

Within the Jung Center, there is a library available for visitors. In the taller building, there is a café that integrates with a greenhouse. Continuing upwards, visitors will find a dedicated space for conservation and restoration, which is visible to the public.

The 5th floor houses sculptures enclosed for protection, while the 6th floor features sculptures integrated with greenhouse vegetation. These sculptures are suitable for outdoor display without extensive protection.

After exploring the Art Depot, visitors can journey underground to discover shopping centers, a lecture hall, classrooms, and the Jung Center's art. An outdoor garden serves as the center of this underground area.

Technical information

The building's structure incorporates truss columns specifically in the cantilever loop, while the remainder of the building utilizes steel columns and steel truss floor and roof systems. Notably, the floor system is raised to accommodate the HVAC air conditioning system beneath.

Regarding materials, the ground floor features metal panels, offering durability and aesthetic appeal. On the second floor, where the art depot for paintings and ceramics resides, polycarbonate translucent material is employed. This material serves the dual purpose of protecting the artwork while allowing natural light to filter through.

Similarly, the Jung Center utilizes polycarbonate material to safeguard books and artwork, ensuring their preservation. In the taller building, a combination of glass and translucent polycarbonate material is utilized. Glass panels are strategically placed towards the greenhouse area to maximize sunlight exposure, while translucent polycarbonate panels are situated around enclosed sculptures and the restoration space, balancing visibility and protection.

Art storage assembly system:

The storage system within the art depot utilizes a framework of sturdy posts and beams to provide structural support. This framework is designed to accommodate a retractable track system, which offers flexibility in configuring the display of artworks. The retractable track system enables easy manipulation and movement of the art, allowing for efficient organization and adjustment according to the needs of the space. This system not only ensures the safety and accessibility of the artworks but also facilitates dynamic and versatile exhibition arrangements within the art depot. The panels are arranged based on the size of the paintings or ceramics, ensuring that each artwork is accommodated appropriately within the storage system.


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