© 2015 by Christopher J. Ball. All rights reserved

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Boulder of Museum of Contemporary Arts (BMoCA) 

The Boulder Museum of Contemporary Arts (BMoCA) sits at the end of Boulder's iconic Pearl St. corridor. BMoCA is adjacent to the Boulder Creek bike path as well as the acclaimed Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse. The museum is host to nationally touring artist exhibits, as well as the central location of the Boulder Farmers Market.


Being a key place of social interaction this design expands the museum to 14,800 sqft. and acts as a catalyst for an active urban node. A vaulted 2-story space in the front interior of the building provides flexible space for social events which will generate capital for the museum. Designed for the community, BMoCA incorporates education spaces and flexibility to host non-profit events.


An addition of "pod" galleries to the south incorporate a mixed-use program with retail spaces on the ground floor and gallery spaces on the second level. This allows for the gallery spaces above to be private and produce revenue, while allowing each pod to have public uses on the first floor. These public spaces will provoke activity and encourage visitors to engage in the museum while passing by the museum’s central location. 

2nd Floor Plan

Site  Model 

A physical model of the BMoCA renovation allows for the full concept of the design to come to life. Focusing on proportion and human scale, the gallery "pods" of the new addition attach to the traditional building and create a unified juxtaposition. Screen features on the ground level of the new addition provide a transparency to the active event programs that exist on the site. This will engage pedestrians on the ground level and intrigue visitors to enter into the museum. 

A juxtaposition of historic and modern architecture creates a timeless imagine for the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Arts. 

The museum is anchored in the center of 13th St. between Canyon St. and Walnut St. in Boulder, CO. This is a focal point for pedestrian interaction. With the Boulder Creek bike path running adjacent to the museum the need to draw in pedestrians is critical. Featuring ground-level retail use, such as a coffee shop and local art store, the site design of BMoCA successfully engages everyday pedestrians. 

The second level of the museum features exhibits that fully engage the user in the art. The concept of "pod exhibits" allows for flexible space that is exclusive to the art within. The guest moves from gallery to gallery being able to identify each specific atmosphere the artist intends for their exhibit space. When exiting a gallery the transparent hallway includes look outs to the surrounding environment of 13th Street. Within the second level of the existing building the uses primarily cater to the employees of BMoCA. With office space, a kitchen, conference room and more, this area of the museum is focused on the needs of the BMoCA staff. 

This sectional model of the BMoCA "pod" galleries allows for an understanding of the systems and structure of the design. The facade of the gallery spaces is a terra cotta made from sustainable soils around the area of Colorado. The truss system of the pod provides for a beautiful aesthetic of a cantilever of the second floor gallery space. This sectional model was constructed with the focus of real life construction. It is built with floor joists, headers and footers, gypsum wall layers, studs, and more. 

1st Floor Plan

The ground level of the museum focuses on engaging the outdoor activity that already exists in the area with the museum exhibits. The main entrance locates the visitor in a transparent hallway that moves alongside the main museum and the retail uses of the new addition. These retail uses include a cafe, museum shop, auditorium, and library. Upon entering the main museum the guest is encompassed in a vaulted two story space with a flexible open floor plan. This area is focused on generating revenue for the museum by continually being able to adapt to various different event spaces. Stairs then lead to an upper story that includes an overlooking indoor balcony to the event/social space and entrance to the exhibit "pod" areas. 

Site Plan