Skirball Cultural Center
Los Angeles, California, USA.
Role + Responsibility:
Prior to the launch of Phase IV Conference Center Construction, the museum added a new 8,000 sq. ft. permanent exhibition on the second floor of the Winnick Building: Noah’s Ark at the Skirball™, a multi-sensory, indoor/outdoor family experience designed by Alan Maskin and Jim Olson, FAIA of Olson Kundig Architects in Seattle, and fabricated by Lexington. Visitors board a gigantic wooden ark filled with interactive exhibits and nearly 300 handcrafted animals—from life-sized elephants and giraffes to puppet-sized critters operated by gallery staff—and work together to surmount storm and flood. An outdoor garden with a kinetic sculpture/water feature that made rainbows was also installed. Rich Cerry (as Director of Operations for the Skirball Cultural Center) managed the opening of Noah’s Ark, which increased visitor attendance daily for the institution 500 fold.
The fourth and final phase of planning and construction completed the Skirball campus with the East Parking Garage, a cast-in-place concrete structure for 500 cars on 3 levels, with 2 levels below grade, which opened in November 2008; and a new 30,000 sq. ft. banquet complex with over 50,000 sq ft of gardens and site work, formally opening in November 2013. Comprising the Guerin Pavilion, Herscher Hall, and banquet kitchen, this complex presented exceptionally difficult engineering and construction challenges. The three buildings appear to be a single unit, but are actually constructed as individual, independently supported but conjoined structures and meet all seismic construction requirements.
Owner: Uri D. Herscher, Founding President
Area: 40,000 sqft; Parking: 566 stalls
Total Cost: $90 million
Design Architect: Safdie Architects
Support Architect: Olson Kundig Architects