At the heart of this project is a large gathering space spanning the area between the museum’s two main buildings and the plaza of Ellsworth Kelly’s Austin. The Moody Patio is named in honor of the Moody Foundation’s $20 million gift to the museum that was announced in early 2019. It encompasses two adjacent stages for performances and includes new landscaping, a lawn, and a variety of seating areas. The new stages will amplify the Blanton’s popular and innovative music programming, live music, and other performances and programming. If you’ve ever attended a Blanton Block Party or B scene, then you know the kind of lively events we’re envisioning for this space!
Visitors coming from the Texas Capitol Complex or walking along Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard will enter the Blanton grounds via the wide and welcoming steps of the new Larry and Mary Ann Faulkner Gateway. With the Texas State Capitol to the south and Ellsworth Kelly’s Austin to the north, this entry point will provide a distinctive bridge between the city and The University of Texas at Austin.
Inspired by the arched vaults of the loggia that outline the museum, 15 elegant petal-shaped structures will highlight views of Ellsworth Kelly’s Austin and the Texas State Capitol. This shade canopy will generate a dappled light effect during the day and will be illuminated at night, creating a one-of-a-kind visual marker for the Blanton.
The new grounds initiative draws on the unique character and resilience of native Texas flora. Throughout the museum walkways and gardens, more than 25,000 new plants will be added, 95% of which are native to the state. Wherever you wander throughout the new Blanton grounds, you’ll enjoy plantings and small gardens filled with native species. Among them: dwarf palmetto, Texas gold columbine, and Cherokee sedge. The design’s focus on sustainability has been developed with an eye toward SITES certification.
You’ll no doubt be inspired to wander and wonder as you follow along the winding pathway designed to connect the Blanton’s two main buildings, Ellsworth Kelly’s Austin, and other features on the museum grounds. Landscaped with native Texas plantings, the path will join all approaches to the museum and offer small garden areas and seating for relaxing and socializing.
To improve visitor experience and flow, we’ve relocated the museum’s check-in entrance to the Edgar A. Smith Building. After check-in, you can choose to visit the Mari and James A. Michener Gallery Building and enjoy the art from the moment you enter, or head over to Ellsworth Kelly’s Austin. What’s more, entrances to the two main museum buildings have been redesigned for easy identification; they will be marked by protruding vaults that echo the loggia arches and the curves of the shade canopy. The vault addition to the Michener Gallery Building will be U-shaped, featuring a unique interior viewing deck on the museum’s second floor; you’ll be able to sit inside the vault and watch what’s happening out on the Moody Patio just below.
The Blanton is commissioning a number of new public artworks to be installed throughout the grounds, providing exciting new ways for our community to engage with art beyond the Blanton’s gallery walls.
A new museum drop-off area on Brazos Street, just behind the museum’s grounds and across from Brazos Garage, will help make the museum more accessible. From students visiting the Blanton in school buses to museum visitors with special mobility needs, this new feature will simplify their visit.
Because Austin is the perfect city for al fresco dining, our redesigned café will feature outdoor seating accentuated by shade trees and native plantings. A new menu of local favorites means a meal here will be on the “don’t-miss” list for your visit. We’ll be sharing forthcoming updates on the new direction for the café soon.
Simone Wicha, Blanton Museum of Art, Director
Kimberly Theel, Blanton Museum of Art, Deputy Director, Operations
Dalia Azim, Blanton Museum of Art, Manager of Special Projects
Carter E. Foster, Blanton Museum of Art, Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs
Craig Dykers, FAIA, LEED, AP, Int FRIBA, FRSA, RAAR, PhD, Snøhetta, Founding Partner
John Newman, Snøhetta, Director/Senior Architect/Lead Architect
Matt McMahon, Snøhetta, Director/Architect/Lead Landscape Architect
Elaine Molinar, NCARB, AIA, LEED AP, Snøhetta, Partner/Managing Director
Paul Drummond, PLA, Snøhetta, Landscape Architect
Claire Laurence, Snøhetta, Design Architect
Yuan Zhuang, Snøhetta, Landscape Designer
Pia Falk Lind, Snøhetta, Donor Signage Consultant
Henrik Haugan, Snøhetta, Donor Signage Consultant
Nadine Fumiko Schaub, Snøhetta, Donor Signage Consultant
Larry Irsik, AIA, Leed AP, Architexas, Executive Architect
Stan Graves, FAIA, Architexas, Senior Principal
John Allender, AIA, Leed AP, Architexas, Lead Architect
Jungmin Kim, Architexas, Intern Architect
Nathan Clark, Architexas, Intern Architect
Catherine O’Connor, Co’Design, Landscape Architect
UT PROJECT MANAGEMENT AND CONSTRUCTION SERVICES (PMCS)
Sergey Belov, UT PMCS, Project Manager
Linda G. Tsai, RA, UT PMCS, Team Lead, Arts & Entertainment
David Frame, III, White Construction, Vice President/Operations
Kelly Niles, White Construction, Sr. Project Manager
Paul Kaskie, White Construction, Project Superintendent
Julia Mrnak, PE, Garza EMC, Civil Engineer
Anna Merryman, Garza EMC, Civil, Graduate Engineer
Karina Tribble, PE, Leed AP, AEC-WAY, Senior Associate
Ruthie Norval, PE, AEC-WAY, Project Engineer
MECHANICAL, ELECTRICAL, AND PLUMBING (MEP) ENGINEERS
Shawn Allen, PE, Jose Guerra, MEP Engineer
Julia Wagner, PE, Jose Guerra, MEP Engineer
Hervé Descottes, L’Observatoire International, Principal
Jenny Ivansson, L’Observatoire International, Senior Associate/Project Lead
Carlos Garcia, L’Observatoire International, Associate/Project Manager
Natalia Priwin, L’Observatoire International, Associate/Concept Design
AV / DATA / SECURITY
Sean Doyle, Datacom Design, AV/IT/Security
Regina Herry, Datacom Design, Audio /Visual