The vision for the Postal Plaza Project is to create a place for the display of art; a place to safely and appropriately store art; and a place for the education of students of Oklahoma State University and the citizens of Stillwater and Oklahoma.
The architectural concept for the new Postal Plaza Gallery is to create a teaching space, viewing galleries, and a state-of-the-art storage facility to accommodate a new and growing collection. Our concept revolves around the idea of turning the space inside out. Our goal is to allow visitors to see behind the scenes to see how works are cared for, how an exhibit is organized and hung, and to expose the visitor to the process of collection management. This is the first time for the concept to be used in a university art space.
Allowing the visitors to “peek” into spaces not normally visible is a perfect arrangement for teaching collections operations, care, and exhibition installation. Ultimately, the goal is to engage our community broadly, including OSU alumni, to help us create a world-class art collection and programs that can be used to support research at OSU and for educating students of all ages.
Our inspirations for the project concept are called Word Paintings:
• We want to encourage donors to trust us and to entrust their collections to OSU for posterity. How can we do that?
• It will be storage for a future building.
• There will be transparency.
• There will be permeability.
• It will be a Teaching Museum.
• We will be able to see behind the scenes in order to learn.
• We will show how it works . . .
• We will encourage a peek into normally hidden spaces
• The idea of observation is shared with the original post office security plan.
• We will celebrate the storage.
• An inside-out plan will focus on teaching.
• Remember the skylight as a peek.
• It is art & storage.
• It will be raw and in the process of becoming.
• These words, phrases and ideas begin to shape the project.
Project Team: Rand Elliott, FAIA, Mike Mays, AIA, Michael Shuck, Associate AIA, Joseph Williams, Associate AIA, Cody Pistulka, AIA Client: Oklahoma State University
Year: October 2013
Scope: 16,000 sq. ft.
Photographer: Scott McDonald © Hedrich Blessing Awards: 2014 Short-listed project, World Architecture Festival; 2014 Short-listed project, World Interiors News; 2014 Architizer A+ Awards Finalist.