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Bjarke Ingels's Art Center Not Historic Enough for Park City

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Things are not looking good for the Bjarke-Ingels designed Kimball Art Center in Park City, Utah. Late last week, City Hall rejected plans for a building that some critics said looked like a massive snow plow, saying that the design does not meet the former mining town's strict guidelines for historic preservation. The decision is a major blow to the Kimball Art Center, as this was the second design by the famed Danish architect Bjarke Ingels. A landmark since 1976, the Art Center wants to add 15,000 square feet and an interior renovation that aims to mark the Utah ski town as "an emerging national arts destination." Way back in 2012, the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) unveiled a massive 76-foot tall log cabin design that twisted into the Park City skyline and towered above town. After "the public" disliked the height of the timber structure, BIG went on to their next design: a (boring?) 46-foot modern slanted concrete structure. Now, that plan is getting the ax, too.

Because the first twisty-timber design by BIG was so widely criticized, it never made it to City Hall for design review. But the Kimball Art Center had higher hopes for BIG's second design, as City Hall discussions in March revealed that two-thirds of the public favored the new plans.

But now that the "snow-plow" has made it farther into the city's design review process, the Park Record is reporting that City Hall feels that the current design does not relate to the historic Kimball Art Center building "aesthetically, visually, or historically." The Park City planning director, Thomas Eddington, said that BIG's design was not compatible with the historic style of Main Street and wouldn't contribute to the "national historic district" in downtown Park City.

In a prepared statement, the Kimball Art Center responded by saying:

"Our main focus at the Kimball Art Center is how to best serve the community. Our board of directors is surprised and disappointed with the city's decision, but we will move forward with evaluating the most viable options for keeping art thriving in and around Park City. This outcome is not what we had hoped for, but we respect the process, and we will take time to determine our next steps." Robin Marrouche, executive director of the Kimball Art Center.

So what's the next step for Bjarke Ingels, the Kimball Art Center, and Park City? Will BIG redesign the project for a third time? Stay tuned, Curbediverse.

· In setback, Kimball Art Center designs rejected [Park Record]
· Sloping Concrete or Twisty Timber: Which Works in Park City? [Curbed Ski]
· Kimball Art Center's Revamped Design Plans Revealed [Curbed Ski]
· The 18 Best Hot Spots for Park City Eating & Drinking, Feb '14 [Curbed Ski]
· All Kimball Art Center Coverage [Curbed Ski]