The design for the San Jose State University Art Museum represents a method of
creative achievement; an artistic energy to symbolize the agitation and unfolding
of thoughts and ideas that are the benchmark of the artistic process.
The building, as a body, moves and thinks like the artist.
As the spaces shift and move and open up onto each other they are stitched
together by the movement of a circulation path, proposing a relationship
between the physical artistic gesture and the mental clarity that directs
the creative journey. From a geological perspective, the museum seeks an
origin as well, again proposing a relationship between the earth's energy
and that of the artist.
A limestone wall begins by carving out the basement space,
releasing the earth's energy to form the building above.
The wall lifts up to reveal the museum entry, drawing in the visitor.
It is sliced, punctured, twisted, and folded as it attempts to contain
the forces within.
The lecture hall and 'experimental gallery' are housed within smooth
clad metal forms that are thrust into the limestone shroud.
A ribbon-like series of monumental stairs links the various galleries
on four levels. While the stairs are seemingly light and airy,
they are clad in fine terra cotta, as if they are pulled from the
The stairs terminate at the 'experimental gallery' that leaps out of
the limestone enclosure. The metal box peels away to reveal a
translucent inner surface that can showcase digital media on both
the interior and exterior facades. The ribbon of terra cotta exlodes
through the roof of the 'experimental gallery', forming an occupiable
space of both earth and sky.