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Ruby City

Adjaye Associates

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Project Name

Ruby City

Project Status

Concept Proposal


14,000 sq. feet

Construction Cost



The Linda Pace Foundation


  • Executive Architects: Alamo Architects
  • Project Management: Norton Company


  • General Contractor: Whiting-Turner

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Project Description


The Linda Pace Foundation announces the details of its new Adjaye Associates-designed building, which will open to the public in 2018 in San Antonio, Texas. The building is the vision and mandate of the Foundation’s Founder, Linda Pace (1945-2007), who was driven by the belief that art is a vital social force. World-renowned architect David Adjaye has designed a building to exhibit the Foundation’s growing collection of over 800 paintings, sculptures, installations, and video works by international contemporary artists. The building will serve as a destination for visitors to contemplate and experience adventurous artwork from the recent past. Admission will be free.
The design presents a two-story structure with an exterior clad in crimson-hued panels of precast concrete with glass aggregate. The planes are punctuated by strategically placed, oversized windows directed toward park and city views. Largely rectangular, the building features a dramatic rooftop of sloping angles and skylights that rise to varying heights and echo cut-away spaces at the building’s base. Inside the lobby of the building, a grand staircase leads up to a series of three gallery spaces with concrete floors and white walls and ceilings. Totaling 14,000 square feet, it will include 10,000 square feet of exhibition space, with the remaining spaces devoted to administrative offices, and MEP.
The new building will be called Ruby City, based on a dream that Linda Pace had, which she sketched and shared with Adjaye during a visit he made to San Antonio in 2007. Ruby City will be situated on Camp Street, and will be part of the Linda Pace Foundation campus extending from South Flores Street to the San Pedro Creek. The campus also includes CHRISpark, built in 2005, a one-acre public green space named in honor of Pace’s son, who died in 1997; and SPACE, the Linda Pace Foundation Gallery, which opened to the public in 2014 and presents special exhibitions. Visitors will enter Ruby City from the west, facing San Pedro Creek, and enjoy views of CHRISpark, a new outdoor sculpture garden on the south side of the property, and terraced banks leading to San Pedro Creek.
Ruby City is slated for a 2016 groundbreaking, and a public opening in 2018, timed to coincide with a year of celebrations commemorating San Antonio’s 300th birthday. The City of San Antonio has plans to develop San Pedro Creek, adding foot and bike paths extending to the downtown area, and transforming the creek-side into a public park.
The Linda Pace Foundation’s President, Rick Moore, says, “The building is envisioned as a beacon for San Antonio. The impact of the Foundation’s mission is already evidenced in San Antonio’s thriving contemporary art scene and its creative economy, fueled, in part, by the rigor and success of Artpace’s international artist residency program, which—as a separate organization—receives grants from the Linda Pace Foundation. This is a testament to the living legacy of the Founder’s vision and the keen leadership of the Board and Staff of the Foundation.”
Kathryn Kanjo, a member of the Linda Pace Foundation’s Board of Trustees and Deputy Director, Arts & Programs at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, adds, “Linda Pace was committed to San Antonio's cultural vitality. She envisioned David Adjaye's building as an exceptional architectural experience that would be as affecting and inspiring as the art it would contain.”
Explains Adjaye, “When I visited San Antonio in 2007, and met with Linda, we sketched out ideas and together, we envisioned a building that would resonate with her dream of the Ruby City. Like a city, the design offers an organic, heuristic encounter with the Foundation’s works and my hope is that it will become a place where artists and the wider community can be inspired to realize their own dreams through a meaningful experience with contemporary art.”
Linda Pace was an artist, collector, and philanthropist who died of cancer in 2007. Early in the year 2000, as Pace continued to expand her contemporary art collection, she began to seriously contemplate establishing an exhibition space to present the collection to the public. On April 28, 2003, she founded the Linda Pace Foundation with that goal in mind. Over the next several years, Pace researched architects and exhibition spaces.
When she met David Adjaye in 2006, she realized he was the ideal architect for the project. Dreams were important to Linda Pace, and she had a practice of recording them in sketches. Her vision of Ruby City, a jewel-like structure sited on San Antonio’s San Pedro Creek, likewise inspired Adjaye. Together, Pace and Adjaye explored the Foundation’s property and the San Antonio Missions, a National Historic Park, while considering the new building’s design. The architecture they saw at the Missions informed Adjaye’s design for the vaulting, skylit gallery spaces of the new building. Since Pace’s death, the Foundation’s Board of Trustees has been strategically preparing and laying the groundwork to make this new structure a reality. 

In addition to Adjaye Associates as the design architects, a local team has been secured to work on the building project, including: Alamo Architects, Executive Architect; Norton Company, Project Management; and Whiting-Turner, General Contractor. The budget is $16 million, which will be privately funded by the Linda Pace Foundation. 
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