Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art




These two overlapping functions are evident in the building’s form and materiality; from a solid base of concrete, a light roof construction of aluminum and steel emerges and spreads out to offer shade. The base houses the museum's exhibition spaces, which require special lighting levels and ventilation.

From the open and informal lobby, there are several entrances to the exhibition spaces. This variation of scale creates a sense of intimacy, connecting the lobby/lounge to the rest of the museum. The interior layout and furniture selection reinforce this intimate feeling, with large tables, comfortable sofas and walls of books.

The building's roof is like a leaf not only in form but in function, filtering the sunlight and ensuring shade even at the building’s uppermost levels. The top floor houses a gallery, a common room, offices and a patio. The patio can be reached by following the serpentine paths laid out on a gradual slope that embraces the building and brings it into the landscape.

The museum’s landmark location on the southern part of campus, adjacent to the highway makes it one of the first things encountered upon arrival to the university. It has therefore been important to design a building that interacts with the existing buildings to create a new portal to the campus.

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Project facts

Project facts

Location: Davis, California
Client: University of California, Davis
Gross floor area: 2,800 m2
Year of construction: 2013 - 2016
Type of assignment: International competition


  • Davis, California


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