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Friday, June 1, 2012

A Peek at the New MOCA

Posted By on Fri, Jun 1, 2012 at 4:22 PM

MOCA Under Construction
  • MOCA Under Construction

Construction is right on schedule at the new MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) project in University Circle. Situated like the hub of a wheel at the intersection of Mayfield Road and Euclid Avenue, the ultra-contemporary structure is an easy stroll from Little Italy, Wade Oval, CWRU, University Hospitals and the new Uptown District for which it serves as a front door.

With a price tag of some $27 mil, the 34,000-square-foot, six-sided structure rises more 65 feet and includes four levels. Clad in polished black Rimex stainless-steel panels and glass, each side of the asymmetric building offers a unique face and helps the building transition from a hexagonal base to a square roof. It's the first museum and first American commission for London-based architect Farshid Moussavi.

Three of the building's six sides will flank a public plaza designed by the same NYC-based landscape architecture firm that built New York's magnificent urban park, The High Line. The plaza will connect the museum with the restaurants, offices, and residences of the Uptown District and serve as a public reception area for the community.

View toward the Plaza
  • View toward the Plaza

When it opens in early October — and staffers vow it will — the ground floor will be home to the main lobby, a museum store, and a small cafe operated by Cleveland's Marigold Catering. It also will contain a large multi-purpose room for various installations and performances.

main floor construction
  • main floor construction

Two staircases serve the upper floors, but the Kohl Monumental Staircase is the one you'll probably remember. Stacked on top of the other, enclosed, staircase, it provides open, airy views of the atrium and upper floors.

Monumental Staircase
  • Monumental Staircase

The main 6,000-square-foot gallery is on the fourth floor. That's where you'll find the inaugural exhibition Inside Out and from the Ground Up, opening Monday, Oct. 8. Featuring an international roster of artists, the exhibition is designed to give an in-depth look at how each of them engage with the architecture and concept of the space.

The free Oct. 8 opening will be proceeded by a major shindig on Oct. 6. We'll bring you details as they become available. Meantime, here's the website. — Elaine T. Cicora

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