DS+R partner Charles Renfro says the University wanted the musuem—which is situated at the crossroads of an arts district, the city of Berkeley, Berkeley’s campus, and a commercial district—to play a prominent role in community life. "Museums have changed in past 50 years,” says Renfro, “in such a way that they're much more civic institutions.”

The 83,000 square-foot building will include 25,000 square feet of gallery space, two theaters, four study centers, a reading room, an art-making lab, numerous gathering areas, and a café (seen here) that's cantilevered over the main entrance. Set to open January 31, 2016, the museum's most striking feature is a stainless steel-clad volume that contains the larger of its two theaters.  Cantilevers by Luke Hopping from A Floating Theater Hides Within this Art Deco-Inspired Modern Museum