Kimball Art Center by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group

The Kimball Art Center, home to the Sundance House during the annual Sundance Film Festival, invited an international group of architects to submit designs for an interior renovation of the existing center and construction of a new building directly adjacent to the original, located centrally in Park City, Utah.

Inspired by the urban development of Park City and the area’s mining heritage, the winning project, designed by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, features a twisting façade constructed of massive stacked timber elements. The design promises to become a “bold, poetic new landmark to resurrect the spirit of the Coalition Mine Building that burned down in the 1980s,” says Robin Marrouche, executive director of the Kimball Art Center.

The façade of the building encloses a continuous spiral staircase, leading visitors from the ground floor to a generous roof terrace, which can be used for outdoor exhibitions and events. Skylights allow light to wash down the gallery walls below. In between the two galleries is a restaurant, which spills out onto a sculpture garden on the rooftop of the existing Kimball Art Center.

The current building will be converted into an educational hub, complementing the function of the new Art Center. At its heart is a flexible double-height auditorium for screenings and exhibitions. During summer, the façade facing Heber Avenue opens up to the street and exposes the internal activities. The roof of the existing building is equipped with solar thermal panels concealed by indigenous plants. An outdoor sculpture garden loops around the perimeter of the roof.

The Art Center is targeting LEED Platinum certification by harnessing sources of natural heat and daylight, maximizing ventilation and recycling rainwater. Generous skylights and large ribbon windows flood the building with diffused natural light, while operable skylights trigger natural stack ventilation.

Construction is expected to begin in mid-2013, with completion by 2015. To learn more about the Kimball Art Center project, visit