Museum Announces New Landscape Architecture Project

10/26/17
Boca Raton Museum of Art

Designed by Glavovic Studio and Studio Roberto Rivera

The Boca Raton Museum of Art announces the commission of a new landscape architecture project that provides a major renovation to its building and grounds.  Designed by Glavovic Studio and Studio Roberto Rovira, this $1.5 million project achieves a new prominent visibility for the Museum located in Mizner Park. Built in 2001 on a site along Federal Highway, the Museum is situated within the most trafficked and pedestrian-friendly area of Boca Raton. 

The Museum building, originally designed by Donald Singer, is a classic postmodern structure with its bold volumes abounding with cornices, windows, and rusticated masonry that are emblematic and evocative of Addison Mizner’s Mediterranean Revival architecture of the 1920s that has left a distinctive and indelible stamp on Boca Raton.  

Over the past 16 years the Museum has been somewhat camouflaged by the Mizner Park Amphitheater, built immediately after the completion of the Museum and directly to its east.  In particular, the main entrance to the Museum, originally designed as a welcoming entrance to the art galleries from the Park, now appears as a side door; and the loading dock gate, which currently fronts the restaurants and retail in Mizner Park, and by default is the Museum’s most noticeable façade, unfortunately and unofficially serves as the “face” of the Museum. How best to create a new relationship between the Museum and the changing dynamics of its environs has been the challenge of the design team of Glavovic Studio and Studio Roberto Rovira – one which they have solved brilliantly.

In addition to repainting and re-lighting the building as well as introducing helpful signage, the Museum’s new winding walkways will be lined with native grasses anchoring the edifice in an imaginative and welcoming public space.  

The loading dock gate is being replaced with a 12-foot high screen of metal, mirrored, and acrylic panels.  Entitled Mending Wall, an homage to the poem by Robert Frost (1874-1963), the gate presents a new relationship with visitors who can see at one glance through the porous screen into the activities of the Museum loading dock while also seeing their own reflections.  The gated partition continues around the southwest corner as a vertical 12-foot green wall of Bougainvillea, Creeping Fig, Garlic Vine, Queen’s Wreath, and Wild Allamanda.

“Our goal is to create the kind of dynamic outdoor environment that we strive for in our Museum’s galleries. Architect Margi Glavovic Nothard and landscape architect Roberto Rovira have ensured that the landscape, the architecture, and the art are integrated without barriers or boundaries and their collaboration has made for a stunning large-scale commission that extends into the city,” said Irvin Lippman, Executive Director, Boca Raton Museum of Art.

“We have worked closely with the Museum to provide spaces that invite people to experience and celebrate the environment and culture of Boca Raton and South Florida, and especially, to enjoy the unique ongoing programming at the Museum,” said architect Margi Glavovic Nothard.

Three new architectural elements are being introduced as artworks incorporated into the Museum:

Mending Wall, an homage to the poem by Robert Frost, designed by Margi Glavovic Nothard, is a 75’ linear structure comprised of repetitious vertical aluminum panels (12’ high x ¼” thick in 8 various widths, from ½” to 4” wide and spaced from 1” to 4” apart and 9” deep).  The sandwich panel structure is lit from within and from outside.  The panels are three different dark to light greys and translucent acrylic on the outer layer with bright yellow and polished mirror stainless steel panels on the inner layer.  The spacing between the panels is calibrated to create dynamic movement from west to east towards the Museum entrance.  The pattern captures changes in daylight between solid and void and encourages southeast breezes through the loading dock while incorporating the functional requirements of a loading dock gate.  

Promenade, designed by Glavovic with landscaping by Rovira, is a 27,000 sq.ft. outdoor space for large scale exhibitions and pedestrian experiences that is conceived of as an extension of the Museum’s Sculpture Garden and as a place to engage the public directly in the experience of art with changing exhibition programming.   An undulating pathway through the area provides multiple locations for permanent and temporary artwork.  

The project is scheduled to begin this November with an estimated completion date by the end of January 2018.  The project has been made possible by generous gifts from the Ken and Ruth Feigl Estate, Jody Harrison Grass and Martin Grass, and Beatrice Cummings Mayer.

About Margi Nothard Glavovic

Margi Nothard is the Founder and President at Glavovic Studio Inc., a creative design company in architecture, public art and urban design, established in 1999.  The Studio’s projects, which include housing, civic spaces, museums, galleries, commercial facilities and public art interventions, integrate landscape, environment, architecture, culture and urban connections in a unified spatial and transformational experience. 

New impactful projects in Florida include the headquarters for Magic Leap Inc., an innovator mixed-reality start-up technology company; MAS Café, a sustainable modular container project in Flagler Village; and Sunset Hammock, a monumental environmental public art project in the City of Tamarac.  Well-known projects also include Young Circle ArtsPark, a 10-acre cultural arts facility, site planning, an outdoor Amphitheatre and Visual Arts Pavilion in Hollywood; Girls’ Club Foundation, a leading contemporary art private collection gallery in Fort Lauderdale and major renovations, additions and Threshold, an art commission for NSU I Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale.  

Margi’s work is aspirational and educational, with a focus on art and resiliency. Two of her LEED Gold projects that exemplify her interest in impactful architecture and design are Young At Art Museum I Broward County Library, a highly-acclaimed Children’s Art Museum and public library in Davie, and Dr. Kennedy Homes Affordable Housing, an award-winning 132 unit complex in Fort Lauderdale of 8 two-to-five-story modern apartment buildings for low and very low income seniors and families.  

Nothard teaches, lectures, and creates opportunities for broadening the dialogue and impact of good design. Her work at Glavovic Studio is widely published in national and international publications.

About Roberto Rovira

Roberto Rovira is principal of Studio Roberto Rovira, as well as Associate Professor and former chair of Landscape Architecture + Environmental and Urban Design at Florida International University. Roberto completed a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University in 1990, and a Masters in Landscape Architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in 1998, where he was a Dean’s Scholar and recipient of the Award of Merit from the ASLA. Roberto has lived in Latin America, Europe, and Japan and is a former U. S. Naval Officer, having served primarily in Asia and the Persian Gulf from 1990 to 1994.

 As a professionally-registered Landscape Architect (FL# 6667343, CA#4629) he combines his knowledge of landscape architecture, engineering, technology, and fine art to work at various levels and in collaboration with interdisciplinary practitioners as well as with community, city, state, and government organizations. His teaching, research and creative work explore the potential of landscape architecture to play a pivotal role in envisioning and shaping public space and his work is recognized for its creative approach in the fields of landscape architecture, public art, and design. Roberto has been lead designer in national and international projects in the USA, Latin America, and the Middle East, and his work ranges from installations to urban projects.

In 2017, his was identified by Architect’s Newspaper as 1 of the 5 most exciting design firms in Miami and earned the 2015 Emerging Voice award from the Architectural League in New York, one of the most coveted awards in North American Architecture. Additional recognition includes: FIU Top Scholar in 2016 and 2009, American Institute of Architects Landscape Architect of the Year, state and national American Society of Landscape Architects Awards of Honor, Excellence, and Merit, and over 10 open and public international competitions, including 1st Place in the Miami Monument Competition and 1st Place in the Wynwood Gateway Park Competition.

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Contact Kelsey Johnson at kjohnson at bocamuseum dot org for high-res architectural renderings and interviews with Margi Glavovic, Roberto Rivera, and Irvin Lippman.