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Deyoung Art Center: Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

San Francisco, CA  The vision for the Art Center explored two interrelating themes. The first theme creates activity zones to coincide rather than to separate adjoining zones. The Art Center abandons the traditional notion of “wall” as a permanent and unchanging form by setting it in motion. Partitions are suspended from tracks allowing them to slide and rotate, and thus to define space as function requires. Walls unfold, shift and transform in much the same way as origami transforms a plane of paper into a new and dynamic form with each surface fold.


The second theme emerged from the Art Center’s numerous and often dynamic programmatic requirements. The Center’s complex program pushed the limits of the 2,200 square foot site and required a design to be both highly adaptable and multifunctional. Art exhibits require an open and spatially less active environment. Performing arts and lectures, on the other hand, require an enclosed and more spatially active environment. Accordingly panels can expand and contract to meet the needs of both large and small groups, while work surfaces and shelves unfold to accommodate the space’s varied activities. Together, the entire panel series creates a dynamic spatial environment that accommodates the Art Center’s numerous events.