Images courtesy of the Arts Council for Long Beach.
For 63 years annually, Architect Magazine’s Progressive Architecture (P/A) Awards have recognized the best of yet-to-be-built architecture designed in the US. This year, the Arts Council for Long Beach’s Mobile ArtSpace was recognized as a recipient of one of the five coveted awards, given out at the Museum of Modern Art in New York this month, the arts council announced Wednesday.
The Mobile ArtSpace was designed by a team led by Los Angeles-based 64North along with Buro Happold, Formation Association and Steve Roden, according to the release.
"The Progressive Architecture awards embody the most innovative, ambitious architecture in the United States and worldwide,” 64North Director Wil Carson stated. “The Mobile ArtSpace is in many ways a perfect match for this award, given its radical redefinition of the role the arts can play in our city and community."
The structure is the only winning project designed to be transported. The sides of the box are made to drop down to reveal an adaptable performance stage, set to be a platform for a diversity of arts and cultural events, from film screenings to Cambodian dance troupe performances, first throughout Long Beach’s nine districts and later in other cities. Following each performance, the box will fold back into a cube before being transported to its next location.
"This award helps put Long Beach on the map, and in an innovation-themed way,” said April Economides, Director of Communications at the arts council. “The Progressive Architecture Awards recognize the most innovative architectural planned projects in the U.S."
Nate Berg of Architect Magazine described the Mobile ArtSpace as “mysterious and seemingly inert."
"At night, however, its reflective sides come to life with an LED light show," he said. "And prior to shows, a solar-powered, internally lit balloon will float high above, acting as a beacon to lure people to the site and the strange black cube.”
A winner alongside majore future projects including a skyscraper by Los Angeles-based Morphosis Architects and an elaborate cultural district by Weiss/Manfredi, the Mobile ArtSpace seeks to fill a void in “Southern California communities that suffer from insufficient access to the arts,” according to Berg. The arts council recently launched a capital campaign to construct it, aiming for it to be built and in use by summer 2018.
"The impact on culture is really powerful,” Juror Matthew Kreilich said in a statement. “It's doing some things most architecture isn't trying to understand.”
“The Arts Council is excited to host wildly diverse arts programming throughout the city – and in an award-winning architectural space. The architecture, along with the arts programming, will inspire,” stated Arts Council President Marco Schindelmann.