Turning the museum experience inside-out to create a Museum of the Future, at one with nature.
Completed in 2016, the Ann and Jim Goodnight Park at the North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA) was created with precision craftsmanship as a seamless extension of the museum itself. Transcending traditional sculpture parks, the park connects people to art in nature in fresh ways. The park’s multi-layered design reinvents the traditional interior gallery experience outdoors, connecting new and more diverse audiences in an exciting exploration of art and nature. At the same time, it fosters social healing for the site’s grim past, from World War I training ground to 20th-century youth incarceration facility. The new park intentionally integrates a brick smokestack from the former prison as a historical icon of the site’s transformation.
The landscape design includes a patterned native garden, an art promenade that connects the interior and exterior galleries, a major outdoor venue for art and social events, and parking set into a wooded grove. The quality of the museum’s interior galleries outdoors was translated to the outdoors, including carefully articulated features such as the 600-foot elegant curve of the central oval of lawn known as the Ellipse – and the pointillist appeal of a gathering of red umbrellas atop tables and chairs.
The Wave Gardens feature 20 sculpted berms interlaced with paths and sitting areas and planted with over 150,000 plants to create flowing color and connect to the larger meadow landscape. A broad Promenade reveals the surrounding North Carolina landscape as an ever-changing art gallery.