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New UC Davis art museum hints at fresh directions for American architecture

from Los Angeles Times

Among the most encouraging qualities of the design by SO-IL and BCJ is its elusiveness, its ability to shrug off or slip past easy readings. The canopy, with a large opening or oculus in the center, is a case in point: An unusual combination of exuberance and modesty, it’s an architectural gesture that extends the museum’s reach and shrouds the building at the same time. From the air the canopy’s crosshatched design is an abstraction of the gridded farmland that lies on the far side of the train tracks and freeway. At ground level it draws the museum’s three interior wings – each with a different height – into a loose embrace, one suggesting (in the manner of 1980s projects by Charles Moore or Frank Gehry) a small village as much as a single building. more

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