Oklahoma Contemporary’s new downtown campus stands as a new cultural destination among the architecture of Oklahoma City, a sculptural expression of the nonprofit’s mission to provide accessible, inclusive arts experiences. The 53,916 square-foot, four-story building, “Folding Light,” anchors the 4.6-acre campus which includes a renovated 9,839 square-foot 1910 historic warehouse (to house studios for ceramics, fiber, metal and wood) and a three-block arts park, providing space for outdoor exhibitions, education programs and public performances.
Visitors are greeted by a striking, sculptural building comprised of 16,800 custom-designed extruded aluminum fins extending from the ground to the building’s parapet. The shell is constructed from bright-dipped anodized aluminum, resulting in an ethereal facade designed to capture and reflect the dramatic changes in light and sky that characterize the local landscape. A vertical, four-story Lantern lit each evening marks the campus entry and a sculptural canopy adds elegance to the entrance and offers guests protection from the elements.
The light-filled lobby includes the Visitor Experience, retail area, café and a community lounge. In addition to the 8,000 square feet of galleries for visual art, the building includes a flexible theater space that seats 200, a dance studio and nine classroom studios. The folding exterior walls are directly reflected on the interior main gallery space creating different sized walls that allow both small and large artworks to be displayed. A flexible-use second-floor terrace can host receptions of up to 150 seated, while landscaping elements provide shade and cover for Oklahoma’s unpredictable weather.
Credited: Smith & Pickel Construction Co. - General Contractor
Wallace Engineering - Structural Engineer
CEC - Civil Engineer
Alvine and Associates, Inc. - MEP
Schuler Shook - Theater Consultant
Artform - Custom Aluminum Fin Fabrication