Oakland Museum of California
Master Planning, Expansion, Renovation
Yun Young Na
Civil Engineer: Van Maren & Associates
Structural Engineer: Forell/Elsesser Engineers, Inc.
Mechanical/Plumbing Engineer: Rumsey Engineers, Inc.
Electrical Engineer: FW Associates
Landscape: Robert LaRocca & Associates
Lighting: Auerbach Glasow French
Acoustical: Charles Salter Associates
Environmental Graphics: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
Project Management: ProPM, Inc.
Project Management: City of Oakland
General contractor: Cahill Contractors
LEED Certification Gold
Upon its opening in 1969, the Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) was unique in its handling of a vast 7.7 acre site where every part of the building is usable and reflects a dual purpose that is at once both building and landscape, both museum and urban park. Originally designed by architect Kevin Roche and landscape architect Dan Kiley, the museum, devoted entirely to the art, history and natural science of California, is organized on three levels in an ascending stepped sequence where the roof of one becomes a terrace of the one above. Each level is accessed by an open central stairway that connects the museum’s multiple entries to its galleries. While the conceptual vision of the building remains strong, there are nevertheless inherent functional challenges made evident by the growing needs of the museum. In 1999, we began working with the OMCA in developing a detailed Space Needs Assessment and Program that culminated in a conceptual design and budget to address its evolving space and infrastructure requirements. This master plan was reviewed and approved by Kevin Roche and adopted by the museum for implementation in phases. The first phase of the project, the Daryl Lillie Art Education Center, which added children’s classrooms to the museum, was completed in 2001.
The second phase of the project involves the most complex elements of the Master Plan to include 94,000 SF of renovated Art and History gallery spaces and two new gallery additions at 5,200 SF of expanded exhibition space. The two new gallery enclosures can accommodate large scale art works and are each supported by a lightweight steel structure that lifts above the space to complement the all concrete existing building. Clerestory glass wraps each of the new galleries on three sides and allows diffused natural daylight to fill the space. Improvements were made in visitor circulation with clear points of entry and access to the museum. A new stainless steel entry canopy extends out to Oak Street to make the main entrance more self-evident and inviting. Together with the new sky-lit canopies at the central stairway, covered circulation is now provided throughout the museum to further interconnect the galleries and visitor experience. Other improvements in this phase include a renovated 280-seat auditorium.
The third phase of the project includes the renovation of the Natural Science Gallery and enhancements for school groups at the Tenth Street entrance. OMCA received LEED gold certification for a major renovation.