Project type: Museum
Location: Hermosa Beach, CA, U.S.A.
The project transforms the historic Bijou Theatre in Hermosa Beach into a gallery and non-profit museum. The project aims to find new strategies and scenarios for the display and reading of contemporary art by contrasting programmatic elements and questions of site and context.
The tension between the contemporary exhibits and the historic building, between the ‘white box’ and the historic ornamentation, as well as the need for flexibility and compatibility were the primary factors that determined the design. How can the white, deliberately neutral background of a gallery coexist with the historic specificity of the context of the theatre?
The project responds to this question through the design of large mobile elements that make it possible to demarcate different zones and backgrounds for art: large moveable blocks that fit into openings in an arcade, a curved wall that can rotate 360° and blend into the wall and 12-foot-high glass walls that can slide along tracks or swivel open and closed.