Mingei International Museum San Diego Building, New California Architecture Photos

Mingei International Museum in San Diego

September 3, 2021

Design: LUCE et studio / Inside Outside | Petra Blaisse

Location: Mingei International Museum, Plaza de Panama, Balboa Park, San Diego, California, USA

Mingei International Museum San Diego CA
photo Courtesy of Mingei International Museum

– Mingei Partners with San Diego Favorite Urban Kitchen Group for Innovative On-Site Dining Experience

– Renovated and Reimagined Mingei International Museum Reopens with Folk Art, Craft and Design Infused into Every Element

– Mingei International Museum Grand Reopening Set for September 3, 2021

The Museum will reopen to the public on September 3, 2021, exactly three years after closing for a transformative construction project. Entry into the Museum Labor Day weekend, Friday, September 3 through Monday, September 6, will be free for all as a gift to San Diego. The Museum will be open 10am-5pm, seven days a week, with expanded evening hours until 8pm on Thursdays and Fridays.

Mingei International Museum in San Diego Building

Reopening of Mingei International Museum in San Diego

Great spaces inspire great exchanges.

Mingei International Museum has embarked on a major transformation of its facility on the Plaza de Panama in Balboa Park, one that redefines its relationship to the Park, the San Diego region and the world. The plan expresses a dynamically renewed commitment to the Museum’s vision and the community it serves.

Mingei International Museum San Diego
photo Courtesy of Mingei International Museum

“It’s an important moment to aspire to a big gesture of change. This project with Mingei is a perfect confluence—it’s about the Park, the craft of fine art, and good design. And it’s one of the most authentic and humble institutions in the city that I believe in. It couldn’t be a better fit.”
– Jennifer Luce Founder and Principal, LUCE et studio

Through a series of visitor surveys, stakeholder interviews and tours of other museums, Mingei reaffirmed its mission to open up the Museum space for maximum engagement and collaboration and expand access to collections, exhibitions and educational programming.

A free plaza level places visitors at the center.

Architect Jennifer Luce, Founder & Principal, LUCE et studio:
Architect Jennifer Luce, Founder & Principal, LUCE et studio
photo Courtesy of LUCE et studio

Art belongs to everyone. With a gallery, store, restaurant and center for learning, the free plaza level features multiple public entries on east and west, opening the Museum to expansive meeting, making and learning opportunities:

– lively new civic space to gather on the Plaza Level, with free admission for everyone
– inviting courtyard next to the Plaza de Panama and upper-level terraces with breathtaking views
– dedicated education center for K-12 students and for people of all ages to engage in hands-on artmaking
– beautiful theater for performances, lectures and demonstrations
– stunning galleries and library upstairs, with access to the House of Charm’s iconic tower
– inspired shopping and dining

Theater – The second level is devoted to exhibitions and research, with its main galleries and art and media library. Mingei is also giving back to the City of San Diego through the addition of open space and restoration of its historic home, The House of Charm:
Mingei International Museum San Diego Theater building
photo Courtesy of Mingei International Museum

The plan will transform the non-functional loading dock into a new Theater for lectures, concerts, films, dinners and other events. The Theater opens directly to the landscape and to Palm Canyon beyond.

Theater building in the evening:
Mingei International Museum theater building San Diego

Mingei International Museum theater building San Diego California
photos Courtesy of Mingei International Museum

Inside Outside | Petra Blaisse Delivers a Sitespecific Intervention

Inside Outside Contributes To Commissions Featuring Acclaimed Women Artists

A Reimagined Museum

On September 3, 2021, Mingei International Museum will reap the fruits of a transformative period, topping off a three-year hiatus with newly commissioned artworks, dynamic exhibitions and a program tending to increased accessibility and inclusivity. As an acclaimed institution that prides itself on a commitment to art, craft and design that is by and for the people, the reopening marks a peak in its civic and functional engagement. Inside Outside | Petra Blaisse has joined an inspirational collaboration initiated by LUCE et Studio for a new wing, to ensure that the museum’s ethos of merging craftsmanship with the community is infused throughout the very building.

Mingei International Museum San Diego courtyard:
Mingei International Museum courtyard San Diego

A lineup of five acclaimed, female artists – Petra Blaisse, Claudy Jongstra, Christina Kim, Jennifer Luce, Sharon Stampfer and Billie Tsien – have installed a series of interventions in the building that enrich the formal and conceptual dialogue with the architecture and collection. Each of the commissions serves as a stand-alone creation while simultaneously functioning as elements that are imaginatively and technically woven into the building’s public spaces.

Mingei International Museum courtyard furniture:
Mingei International Museum courtyard furniture
photograph Courtesy of Mingei International Museum

Intersecting Art and Architecture

As a studio devoted to resisting prescriptive environments, Inside Outside has become wellversed in making the conversation between a building and its temporary inhabitants matter. With this approach, Inside Outside has aligned with LUCE et Studio and the Mingei International Museum’s mission to deepen the connection between the building’s art and architecture, underpinned by the broadened scope of the user’s psychological, cultural, visual and auditory relation to the space.

Inside Outside’s contribution is Sessions – a billowing, layered curtain installation that flows from a point in the concrete side wall along the entire length of the 40-foot retractable glass wall in the new, multipurpose theater. The doublesided felt and voile textile produces different optic effects, when seen from either inside the auditorium or from the adjacent garden, creating an enticing liminality between the inside and outside. The outer environment also comes into play in the curtain’s abstracted pattern, which draws inspiration from the jacaranda tree leaf that was first introduced to Balboa Park, home to the Mingei Museum, by the botanist Kate Sessions.

The piece is a direct nod to a long legacy of community engagement that this jacarandadevotee brought to the city of San Diego. The curtain acts as a filter for acoustics and light, grounding performers and guests into a soothing atmosphere. But as the pattern is punctuated by irregularities, light seeps through in different intensities and brings a playful expectancy in accordance with the theater’s spectacles-to-come – placing the commission on the cusp of settling and surprising visitors.

Address: Plaza de Panama, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA, United States of America

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