The University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) recently broke ground on the Crow Museum of Asian Art, the first phase of a new 12-acre cultural district on campus. The Edith and Peter O’Donnell Jr. Athenæum will be an arts destination for students, faculty, and community.
Designed by global architecture and design firm Morphosis, the arts campus will create a new gateway to the university and include a performance hall, a museum for the traditional arts of the Americas, a central plaza, and a parking structure. The Athenaeum is part of a significant period of growth of the arts at UT Dallas, a school that has historically focused on science, engineering, technology, and business.
The cohesive and dynamic vision for the Athenæum is intended to establish UT Dallas as a cultural hub with outdoor features including landscaped gardens, tree-lined walkways, paved open spaces with benches and water features, an amphitheater, and public sculptures. The plan knits together the buildings within the Athenæum and provides important pedestrian connections to the rest of the campus.
The two-story, 68,000 sf Crow Museum, which includes 12,000 sf of contiguous outdoor space for programs and events, will be completed in Phase I in 2024. It will have 16,000 sf of flexible gallery space to display the collection’s diverse selection of Asian art with ancient and contemporary works from Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand, Tibet, and Vietnam. The museum will also house a state-of-the-art conservation lab, classroom spaces, administrative offices, and the Brettell Reading Room.
Another building, a two-story 53,000 sf performance hall, will include a 600-seat concert venue, practice rooms, choral and orchestra rehearsal rooms, to be constructed in Phase II. A two-story 50,000 sf museum for the traditional arts of the Americas will be completed in Phase III. A three-story 1,100-car parking structure with two levels above grade and one basement-level walk-out will serve the Athenæum and campus.
The three cultural buildings are designed with second floors that are larger than the ground floor, creating covered exterior spaces that can be used for studying, building entry, daytime and nighttime events and gatherings, performances, art display, and everyday campus life. Each building is clad with white precast concrete panels featuring a three-dimensional pattern created through an innovative process designed by Morphosis.
Owner: University of Texas at Dallas
Design architect: Morphosis
Architect of record: GFF
Design MEP Engineer: Buro Happold
MEP Engineer of Record: Campos Engineering
Structural engineer: Datum Engineers
General contractor/construction manager: The Beck Group