moCa's building garners various reactions from those in our city. 11400 Euclid Avenue, often used as a personal mirror by passers-by, was designed to inspire dialog centered on creativity. It does so while reflecting a cosmopolitan area of Cleveland and those who bring it to life.
moCa's physical structure is nearly 34,000-square-foot, 44 percent larger than moCa's former rented space. A museum expansion need not be large in scale to be ambitious. Both environmental and fiscal sustainability were key considerations within the design. Resulting in a landmark that is at once technically inventive and highly practical.
Iranian-born, London-based Farshid Moussavi designed the dynamic structure, formerly with Foreign Office Architects (FOA) and now principal of Farshid Moussavi Architecture (FMA). moCa remains her first U.S. commission and her first museum. In addition to FMA, the design team included executive architects Westlake Reed Leskosky, headquartered in Cleveland, and designers of more than 50 cultural buildings throughout the United States.
According to Moussavi, "museums today are not just homes for art, but serve multiple functions and host a variety of activities. Our design for moCa Cleveland aimed to provide an ideal environment for artists and visitors to foster creativity in a variety of exhibitions and programs."
The four-story building, which anchors the Uptown district, rises 60 feet from a hexagonal base to a square top, where the primary exhibition space is situated. All four floors contain areas for either exhibitions or public programs.
The exterior is primarily a mirror-finish of black Rimex stainless steel. Three of the building's six facets, one of them clad in transparent glass, flank a public plaza designed by James Corner Field Operations, a New York-based landscape architecture and urban design firm. The plaza serves as a public gathering place and links moCa to Uptown attractions and amenities.
Upon entering the building, visitors find themselves in an atrium where they can experience the dynamic shape and structure of the building as it rises. This space leads to moCa's lobby and a double-height multi-purpose room for public programs and events. From there, visitors may take moCa's monumental staircase, a dominant architectural feature of the building, to the upper floors. On the top floor, the 6,000-square-foot gallery space has no fixed dividing walls, allowing for various configurations. This floor also contains a gallery designed for new media work and the Dick and Doreen Cahoon Lounge, which overlooks Toby's Plaza and Uptown.