BIG’s Log Cabin For The 21st Century Twists Like A Jenga Stack

The Kimball Art Center has hired the Danish architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) to design its new home in Park City, Utah. The $10 million-plus project includes the renovation of the museum’s existing facility, a former garage, as well as an adjacent torqued log cabin, to be built from reclaimed train-track piles that refer to the area’s mining heritage. Construction is set to begin in mid 2013 and be completed in 2015.

The twisting 80-foot-tall tower will sit adjacent to the old Kimball center and include larger galleries for the institution’s art exhibitions (it has no permanent collection), a dance theater, and a restaurant. As quoted in Kimball’s press release, Robin Marrouche, the center’s executive director, says: “BIG built the strongest case for the continuity of Park City’s history–a bold, poetic new landmark to resurrect the spirit of the Coalition Mine Building that burned down in the 1980s.”

The new structure, which will be clad in railroad planks rescued from the Great Salt Lake, aims for a LEED Platinum rating, incorporating generous skylights, which reduce the need for artificial lighting; natural ventilation; rainwater recycling; and a ground-coupled heat exchanger, which extracts heat from circulating water in the winter and rejects heat in the summer. The main interior focal point will be a spiral stairway leading from the lobby to the white-cube gallery spaces. In its new role as an educational hub, the old building will also get a revamp, with a rooftop sculpture garden that is linked to the restaurant of the new structure.

BIG, which recently opened a New York office, beat out five finalists: Brooks + Scarpa Architects, Sparano + Mooney Architecture, Will Bruder Partners, and Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects. To see the other proposals, go here.