Architecture practice Snøhetta plans to build a perforated canopy as part of the Moody Patio alongside the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas. Designed to evoke giant petals, 15 slim columns will blossom into curved forms to provide shade across a plaza next to the museum in Austin.
Called the Moody Patio, the area earmarked for this redesign sits between two buildings, across from a pavilion with rainbow windows built on campus by the artist Ellsworth Kelly.
Snøhetta designed the structure to mirror the arches of the loggia that runs along the ground floor of the museum building. The archways will frame views of Kelly’s pavilion and of the Texas Capitol building.
Perforations in the new canopy will allow sunlight to filter through and create constellations of dappled light and shade.
This new shady place will provide a place for visitors to the Blanton Museum of Art to gather outside while protected from the fierce Texan sun. Temperatures in Austin can reach 38 degrees Celsius in the summertime.
A pathway will wind through the Moody Patio bordered by raised beds filled with 25,000 plants – the majority of which will be native species such as dwarf palmetto, Texas gold columbine and Cherokee sedge.
Two raised platforms will be built for use as stages for live music performances. Next to the canopy, a grass lawn will stretch in front of the pavilion.
At night, lights will illuminate the canopy, turning it into a large scale welcome sign for the area.
“The Blanton holds a prominent place at the intersection of the new Texas Capitol Complex, and it also serves as the gateway to the university campus,” said Snøhetta co-founder Craig Dykers
“Our inventive landscape and reimagined building entrances fulfil that promise,” added Dykers, who is an alumnus of the University of Texas School of Architecture.
“Snøhetta’s design expands the museum’s world-class art collection beyond the museum’s galleries and creates a highly visible public place of— and for—the arts and Austin.”
As part of the project, a new mural has been commissioned from Cuban-American artist Carmen Herrera. It will be the first public mural project created by the 105-year-old artist.
The mural will be painted on a wall behind one of the loggia, as a backdrop to an outdoor stage.