The Mingei occupies a historic Mission Revival style building, but through collaboration with city officials, the architects revealed a non-functional loading dock that the team decided to infill with a concrete board-formed multipurpose theater. The new 1,600-square-foot space for lectures, concerts, films, dinners and other events is adorned by a, Jacaranda inspired, curtain by Petra Blaisse. A new courtyard directly above adds park space to an historic landscape. A series of hand twisted brass pickets encloses the courtyard and celebrates the fusion of the hand-crafted and the machine. The beloved Shop Mingei and a new bar and bistro will be reintegrated at the admission-free ground level. A perforated metal ceiling, a three-dimensional abstraction of an old-fashioned player piano roll, stretches the length of the shop and café. A new stair spills out of the previously closed historic House of Charm Bell Tower, creating an informal amphitheater for gathering and an inviting entrance to the formal Gallery Level. The oak platforms lead visitors into a twisted Venetian plaster shell which houses one of the museum’s beloved collection items by Dale Chihuly, which is lit by precisely studied lighting. The gallery spaces are each with a faceted GFRG ceiling making reference to origami and light. This level will also host Mingei’s renowned research library collection and the Nakashima Board Room, which is home to the beloved Mira Nakashima table, daughter of George Nakashima. She has been commissioned to extend the already 20’ table, celebrating her father’s legacy and original table design.


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