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The Crocker Art Museum is about to undertake the logistical nightmare of moving artwork to and from its new expansion. But it will be worth it, museum officials say.
"It's about art, sure." said Lial Jones, director of the Crocker. "But the building is also really about a sense of place for Sacramento and a sense of trying to make sure Sacramento's future is that much stronger."
Jones and Gerald Gendreau, a Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architect partner who has worked on the project since its inception nearly 10 years ago, led a media tour of the expansion wing Friday. Ten years ago, the museum was the 103rd largest in the nation. With the expansion, it is estimated to to be among the 70 largest, said Jones.
The Crocker Art Museum will close Sunday and art will be moved from its original 50,000-square-foot building into the 125,000-square-foot expansion. After the old building is renovated, some art will be returned there, while the new wing will be filled with art from the old wing and the Crocker's eight storage areas.
And it all needs to be done before the Oct. 10 grand opening.
"We have a lot of work to do," said Jones. "It's a 175,000-square-foot building when we're done. If you're looking at a 1,700-square-foot house, it's the equivalent of moving your house 100 times in basically a couple of weeks."
One of the unique features of the new wing is its windows, which provide views of the city, Tower Bridge, courtyard and neo-classical design of the original Crocker building.
(The courtyard view from a window. It is piazza-style and features a waterfall sculpture on the right.)
The new design is the same height as the older portion of the museum and draws on subtle design cues such as skylights to match the historic structure.
"This courtyard and views of the river are reference points in the building," said Gendreau. "You won't ever be lost in this building. You'll always have peeks into the courtyard, and be able to locate yourself around the building. (The views) are also pauses in between an intense art experience."
(First floor open space with a view of the historic Crocker)
The new wing is a welcoming space. For instance, the first floor will be free to the public and feature Wi-Fi and a café.
The wing also houses an education center, reception area for more than 1,000 people, meeting rooms, a 260-seat auditorium and a store.
(Sorting, storage and conservation area)
An important addition is the second-floor storage and conservation area, adjacent to a loading dock and freight elevator. The Crocker's original storage area had a dirt floor.
(Vertical window with a view of the old courtyard)
The third floor, with its tall ceilings, is ideal for larger paintings and sculptures.
(Sculpture gallery with skylights)
Some third-floor gallery spaces feature Kalwall skylights that have "nano-gel insulation," according to Gendreau. Though the building was designed before Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certifications were required, it would qualify for the silver LEED certification, he said.
For more information on the new Crocker wing, visit this Sacramento Press article.
Photographs by Kati Garner.