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11 Jun 2019

Work completed on David Adjaye-designed contemporary art museum in San Antonio
BY Tom Walker

The design of the US$16m (€14m, £12.6m) museum was inspired by a dream by artist and philanthropist Linda Pace, who died in 2007

The design of the US$16m (€14m, £12.6m) museum was inspired by a dream by artist and philanthropist Linda Pace, who died in 2007
photo: Ruby City / Adjaye Associates

Work has been completed on a contemporary art museum in San Antonio, Texas, designed by British architect Sir David Adjaye.

Called Ruby City, the 14,000sq ft (1,300sq m), two-storey building will house the Linda Pace Foundation’s art collection, which includes more than 900 paintings, sculptures and installations by contemporary artists.

The US$16m (€14m, £12.6m) museum has been privately funded by the foundation and is the legacy project of artist and philanthropist Linda Pace, who died in 2007.

The design of the building was inspired by a dream Pace had shortly before her death.

“Linda cultivated the power and symbolism of dreams," said Linda Paca Foundation trustee Kathryn Kanjo.

"A sparkling crimson building appeared to her in her sleep. Using coloured-pencil, she sketched the fanciful image and shared it with David Adjaye.

“With his bold sense of volume and materials, David has interpreted Linda's dream city into a faceted, beckoning form, a Ruby City.”

To reflect Pace's vision of a ruby-covered building, the museum has been clad in deep red panels of shimmering precast concrete and glass.

The building also takes inspiration from its surroundings – San Antonio is famous for its Spanish colonial architecture, which has informed elements of the building’s profile.

Adjaye worked on the project in collaboration with local firm Alamo Architects.

Due to open to the public in October 2019, Ruby City will be part of a growing campus, which also includes Chris Park – a one-acre public green space named in memory of Pace’s son – and Studio, an auxiliary exhibition space which presents curated shows and programming throughout the year.

“We have sought to engage with the wider project,” said Adjaye, “to rehabilitate the area into a vibrant new urban park and cultural campus.

"So the design for the building is about creating an important civic movement for the city – and the plaza will be a critical feature of this narrative.”

When open, Ruby City will be free to the public.



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