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Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art
Kyu Sung Woo Architects

November 26, 2007 /

Overland Park, Kansas, USA

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Photo: Tim Hursley, The Arkansas Office
The Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art is located on the campus of Johnson County Community College. The museum, home to a significant collection of contemporary artists, will bring an exciting new presence to the campus of Johnson County Community College and will serve as the starting point of a campus-wide art installation program.

Kyu Sung Woo's contemporary, minimalist building makes a strong statement.
The limestone clad and glass enclosed modern structure signals a new entrance to the campus and connects the school to the community.  

The exterior treatment reflects local materials and context. The selection of limestone for the cladding was in part inspired when excavation revealed this to be the naturally occurring subsurface rock on the site.

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Photo: Tim Hursley, The Arkansas Office

We thought of the museum as the start of a longer journey of art on campus, not as a repository for art.

/Kyu Sung Woo

The entrance faces outward towards the main streets and a 1.5 acre front lawn leading to the campus.

A dramatic 22-foot cantilever of the main gallery space above the entrance is enhanced by an exterior installation by artist Leo Villareal.

His stunning LED display extends the lantern-like effect of the glass facade and supports the connection to the landscape established by the building.

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Photo: Tim Hursley, The Arkansas Office

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Photo: Tim Hursley, The Arkansas Office

The glass-enclosed lobby runs along one side of the museum front, providing a broad view of its interior from afar and giving a constant sense of activity within.  Retaining walls, extending into the landscape, further define the exterior garden, enforce the connection of building to land, and help form the visitor's path.  

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Photo: Tim Hursley, The Arkansas Office

The interior provides flexible exhibition space for permanent and temporary shows, as well as educational and social spaces that further connect the museum to campus activity. Art and architecture are experienced together as a part of daily life.

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Photo: Tim Hursley, The Arkansas Office

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Photo: Tim Hursley, The Arkansas Office

Daylight is drawn into the building along its perimeter with clerestory skylights that bring light down to wash the walls, creating an association with the outside, a sense of openness, and a connection to the passing of time as the quality of light shifts.  

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Photo: Tim Hursley, The Arkansas Office

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Photo: Tim Hursley, The Arkansas Office

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Photo: Tim Hursley, The Arkansas Office

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Photo: Tim Hursley, The Arkansas Office

A double-height atrium, wrapped with perforated metal to filter and soften light, joins the museum to an adjacent technology center, and integrates the museum into campus life.

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Photo: Tim Hursley, The Arkansas Office

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Photo: Tim Hursley, The Arkansas Office

The museum establishes a new identity for this 234 acre suburban Kansas City campus.  

Rather than compete with the large campus, Kyu Sung Woo found the opportunity for the new building to become a catalyst for a new experience of the site: the start of an art-walk and the entryway to a journey of art on campus.

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Sketch courtesy Kyu Sung Woo Architects

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Drawing courtesy Kyu Sung Woo ArchitectsSite Plan
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Drawing courtesy Kyu Sung Woo ArchitectsFirst Floor Plan
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Drawing courtesy Kyu Sung Woo ArchitectsSecond Floor Plan

Facts about Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art

Exhibition space:

11,000 ft2
Academic spaces: 5,400 ft2
Café: 2,400 ft2
Atrium: 3,000 ft2
Art storage: 3,700 ft2
Auditorium: 200 seats

Architect of record:
Gould Evans Associates

Client:

Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art

Last updated: December 19, 2013

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