To entice visitors from the sleek white lobby and into the museum's new main 267-seat theater, architect Thomas Leeser created a blue-light-lined ramp entry sequence that hints at the deep blue tones of the space beyond. The rest of the lobby is filled with reception and café areas.
The 95-foot-long projection wall across from the theater entry can also be viewed from the café area.
In a museum about moving images, projection space is at a premium. So the lobby (with its cast-polyester floors and white walls) doubles as a gallery with a 95-foot-long projection wall across from the theater entry. People in the public areas can use a central staircase for direct access to the exhibitions in the galleries upstairs.
To control light levels and define classroom areas in the education center—with its separate student entry—the architects installed a sinuous ceiling-mounted track, along which runs a curtain designed by textile-artist Cindy Sirko.
The main theater is lined in vaccuum-formed felt panels in International Klein Blue (named after artist Yves Klein, who first mixed the vivid ultramarine color) that control the acoustics. When a film is not being shown, the focal point is the multicolored curtain also designed by Cindy Sirko.
The blue panels echo the 3/16-inch-thick aluminum panels that quilt the façade of the new 47,000-square-foot addition at the back of the museum's original 1920s-era home.
The only substantive changes to the historic façade are the new canopy and magenta-and-gold supergraphics that mark the main entrance.