New exterior improvements the Boca Raton Museum of Art by Glavovic Studio

The Boca Raton Museum of Art is opening and dedicating its major new exterior enhancements project designed by Ft. Lauderdale-based Glavovic Studio with landscape architect, Studio Roberto Rovira. This $1.5-million project, represents a major renovation to the Museum’s grounds and achieves a new visibility for the Museum located in Mizner Park. Built in 2001 on a site along Federal Highway, the Museum is situated within the most trafficked and pedestrian-friendly area of Boca Raton. The Museum building, originally designed by Donald Singer, is a classic postmodern structure with its bold volumes abounding with cornices, windows, and rusticated masonry that are emblematic and evocative of Addison Mizner’s Mediterranean Revival architecture of the 1920s that has left a distinctive and indelible stamp on Boca Raton.

Over the past 16 years the Museum has been somewhat camouflaged by the Mizner Park Amphitheater, built immediately after the completion of the Museum and directly to its east. In particular, the main entrance to the Museum, originally designed as a welcoming entrance to the art galleries from the Park, now appears as a side door; and the loading dock gate, which currently fronts the restaurants and retail in Mizner Park, and by default is the Museum’s most noticeable façade, unfortunately and unofficially serves as the “face” of the Museum. How best to create a new relationship between the Museum and the changing dynamics of its environs has been the challenge of the design team of Glavovic Studio and Studio Roberto Rovira – one which they have solved brilliantly.

The project represents a very strategic, but comprehensive, reimaging of the museum’s public facing exteriors. In addition to repainting and re-lighting the building as well as introducing helpful signage, the project includes the introduction of the new winding walkways which are lined with native grasses anchoring the edifice in an imaginative and welcoming public space. The loading dock gate was replaced with a 75’ linear structure comprised of repetitious vertical aluminum panels (12’ high x ¼” thick in 8 various widths, from ½” to 4” wide and spaced from 1” to 4” apart and 9” deep), designed by Glavovic Studio. Entitled Mending Wall, an homage to the poem by Robert Frost (1874-1963), the sandwich panel structure is lit from within and from the outside, and the spacing between the panels is calibrated to create dynamic movement from west to east towards the Museum entrance.

The panels are three different dark to light greys and translucent acrylic on the outer layer with bright yellow and polished mirror stainless steel panels on the inner layer. The gate presents a new relationship with visitors who can see at one glance through the porous screen into the activities of the Museum loading dock while also seeing their own reflections. The gated partition continues around the southwest corner as a vertical 12-foot green wall of bougainvillea, creeping fig, garlic vine, queen’s wreath, and wild allamanda. In addition to the 12-foot high gated structure, the Promenade, also designed by Glavovic Nothard. This is a 27,000-square-foot outdoor space for large scale exhibitions and pedestrian experiences that is conceived of as an extension of the Museum’s Sculpture Garden and as a place to engage the public directly in the experience of art with changing exhibition programming.

An undulating pathway through the area provides multiple locations for installations. “We have successfully created the kind of dynamic outdoor environment that we strive for in our Museum’s galleries. Nothard and landscape architect Roberto Rovira have ensured that the landscape, the architecture, and the art are integrated without barriers or boundaries and their collaboration has made for a stunning large-scale commission that extends into the city,” said Irvin Lippman, Executive Director, Boca Raton Museum of Art. This defining project began in November 2017 and has been made possible by generous gifts from the Bequest of Ruth & Kenneth Feigl, Jody H. & Martin Grass, Angela & John DesPrez III, Dalia & Duane Stiller, and Beatrice Cummings Mayer. Source by Glavovic Studio.

  • Location: Boca Raton, Florida, USA
  • Architect: Glavovic Studio
  • Principal in Charge: Margi Glavovic Nothard
  • Art Commission: Margi Glavovic Nothard
  • Landscape Architect: Studio Roberto Rovira
  • Structural Engineer: Louis Berger
  • MEPF: Louis Berger
  • Civil Engineer: Louis Berger
  • Client: Boca Raton Museum of Art
  • Year: 2019
  • Size: 27,000 SF exterior renovation
  • Photographs: Robin Hill, Courtesy of EHK|PR

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