Beyond serving its practical purpose of serving as the enlarged, permanent home to the Orange County Museum of Art’s (OCMA) growing art collection, the museum building is a prominent landmark in the Costa Mesa arts community. The post-modern architecture, despite being approximately 30 years newer, fits well with the neighboring Segerstrom Center, Plaza Tower, and South Coast Metro area.
The amorphous, organic form creates an exciting sense of adventure as guests make their way through the gallery spaces. Paths open up to larger gallery spaces, undulating, and winding through the building, and eventually to the upper floors. This feeling of undulating gives the building life, as if it were breathing. Spaces naturally expand and collapse as guests make their way through the museum. Windows punctuate with precise moments of light, adding to the drama. The windows also frame perfectly curated glimpses of the outdoor plazas. The gallery spaces specifically invoke a more human scale. Instead of cavernous spaces of other museums, the galleries appear much more approachable and inviting.
The building, and the art it houses is a testament to the growth of the OCMA. With a foundational piece now in place, in the form of the building, the museum can grow, and fill the space as it sees fit. (2023)