by Kyle Swenson
As per usual, CoolCleveland has gone and alerted us to something really cool happening in Cleveland, this time the design for the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland’s new digs in University Circle at Mayfield and Euclid. The project is 34,000 square-feet and four-floors of that particular brand of arty brainbusting architecture that’s all the rage these days. The design was done by London-based Foreign Office Architects and is part of the Uptown project, a major facelift to the neighborhood spearheaded by Case and developer MRN, Ltd.
The new building will be an eye-catcher for sure, a stylish coal smudge in the middle of all that old school marble sitting around University Circle. Up-close, the structure is sharp angles, elbows and blocky geometry, like a mid-click Rubik’s Cube put together with the obsidian they had left over from 2001: A Space Odyssey. It’s easily the most significant piece of new architecture to pop up in town since Frank Gehry microwaved the side of the Peter B. Lewis building over at Case.
MOCA deserves props for this one. It’s one thing to build a new building, another to take the opportunity to spice-up the landscape. Unfortunately, the museum scene in Cleveland is usually dominated by the Cleveland Museum of Art, with its stockpile of masterpieces and massive endowment; it’s kind of like trying to get a few words in at the dinner table when your parents are only interested in hearing your urbane and double PhD’d older brother talk about his year abroad in Florence. Hopefully, MOCA will get some of the attention it deserves with the high-profile new home.