ORANGE COUNTY, CA—The Orange County Museum of Art announced on June 6 the selection of Thom Mayne, and his firm, Morphosis, as the architect for the museum’s new building planned for the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California. The new facility will be the first art museum in the world designed by the Pritzker Prize-winning architect. Mayne’s selection is the culmination of a two year master planning process that included an international architectural competition.
Thom Mayne founded the influential Los Angeles-based firm Morphosis in 1972. Over the past four decades Morphosis has attained the highest levels of international acclaim as it continues to push its progressive architecture into new territory.
Dennis Szakacs, director of the Orange County Museum of Art, stated, “Thom has forged bold new forms of architecture, pioneered sustainable design, and created extraordinary buildings that capture the public’s imagination. We searched the world and found the right architect for us just up the street. Morphosis and the museum share similar values and together we will build the first great 21st century art museum in Southern California.”
The museum will work with Morphosis over the next six months to develop the design and establish the budget for the new building.Thom Mayne stated, “It is such an honor to have been selected for this prestigious commission here at home in Southern California. The Orange County Museum of Art, our first art museum, is an institution for which I have tremendous respect. I am especially delighted to partner with the Museum at the beginning of this new chapter in its evolution. Art museums everywhere are confronting a challenge to remain relevant to changing audiences and shifting cultural contexts. We will start this project with questions: In the 21st century, how can an art museum invigorate and maintain significance within the local and global context? I believe that the Museum must strive for a balance-to be accessible and challenging, to connect and to provoke.”
With Morphosis, Thom Mayne has received 25 Progressive Architecture Awards, 75 American Institute of Architects Awards, and numerous other design honors. He received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Southern California in 1968 and his Master of Architecture from Harvard University in 1978. He was a founder of the highly esteemed, avant-garde institution SCI-Arc (Southern California Institute of Architecture). Mayne currently holds a tenured faculty position at the UCLA School of Arts and Architecture.
Morphosis has been the subject of numerous exhibitions throughout the world, most notably at the Pompidou Center in Paris, the Walker Arts Center in Minneapolis, and a major retrospective at the Netherlands Architectural Institute. Morphosis buildings and projects have been the subject of over 20 monographs, including 4 by Rizzoli.