The Master Plan for the North Carolina Museum of Art melds the concepts of spectacle, site, and text into a public space which expands the museum’s capacity for outdoor programs over the 167 acre site that surrounds the museum. Engaging ideas of history, culture, geography and topography, the design organizes a variety of experiences in the landscape including the Amphitheater and Outdoor Cinema, a sculpture court, artist’s cabins, and a greenhouse containing classrooms and workshops, picnic areas and a reading garden.
The sculptural form of the big roof of the Amphitheater stage has multiple functions. It provides an identity and focus for the amphitheater in the landscape, protects the performers from weather and sun, and accommodates an intimate outdoor gathering under one roof. The aluminum and steel structure of the Big Screen, attached to the west side of the existing museum, is 30 by 60 feet and angled for viewing from the sloped landscape in the foreground. The Outdoor Cinema accommodates 1200, with an overflow area of an additional 1200 in adjacent areas.
With an economy of means, but a conceptual richness, the project looks beyond simple site work, earth moving, and the traditions of landscape to fuse art, architecture and topography with the visitor’s experience of the site.