Designed by Morphosis under the direction of Pritzker Prize-winning architect Thom Mayne and Partner-in-charge Brandon Welling, The Orange County Museum Of Art is a 53,000-square foot museum, on the campus of Segerstrom Center for Art in Costa Mesa, California. Construction of the museum began in September 2019 and opened to the public on October 8, 2022.
The design accommodates flexible spaces that are functional, inviting, and memorable. It choreographs a rich and diverse visitor experience, from approach and entry to procession through the galleries, and finally, an invitation to linger on the steps, in the café, or the museum shop.
The façade made of the museum is undulating bands of white terracotta tiles, providing a distinctive character for the new building. The high-performance façade creates a sweeping form that wraps from exterior to interior and plays off the forms and palette of neighboring works of architecture. The form’s strong relationship between indoor and outdoor space encourages visitors to immerse themselves in the celebrated climate of Southern California.
The ground-level stadium seating connects the museum to Segerstrom Center for the Arts, and its Julia and George Argyros Plaza, creating an inviting public gathering space. The upper plaza on the roof terrace is equivalent in size to 70 percent of the building’s footprint and provides ample space for exhibitions and events. It also features open-air spaces that can be configured for installations, outdoor film screenings, or events, and is adorned with mature native Palo Brea and Live Oak trees.
The Avenue of the Arts Gallery, a ‘storefront’ gallery located along Avenue of the Arts, in Memory of Yvonne de C Segerstrom, provides passers-by a view into the exhibition space, and The Visionaries Gallery, a smaller, more intimate space that connects to the mezzanine galleries via a sky bridge. Administrative spaces located on the mezzanine level.
The museum is home to more than 4500 objects, most of which are works from the 20th and 21st centuries. The museum is also renowned for organizing exhibitions of contemporary art that are locally relevant and internationally significant.