SOM in the Press

Democratic Design

Photo © Tim Griffith

Source: segdDESIGN

Architect Kevin Roche created the now-iconic Oakland Museum of California as a "museum for the people." With its three interlaced museums tucked under terraces and opening onto gardens, the three-level, cast-in-place concrete building blurred the lines between indoor and outdoor space and provided a much-needed green oasis in Oakland. Its open, porous design allowed visitors to flow freely among the galleries and courtyards and, completed in 1969, it has been hailed as a landmark example of mid-century modernism. But 30 years later, the once-free arts, culture, and history museum was charging admission. The museum's five entry points and hodge-podge signage system were wreaking havoc on navigation.

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