Designed for a USA-based charity called the Linda Pace Foundation, David Adjaye’s concept for an art museum in San Antonio, Texas, was first unveiled in late 2015. Called Ruby City, the museum will span 4 300 square metres and is set to house a collection of over 800 pieces of contemporary art. Adjaye's design is based on a sketch of a red building drawn by the late philanthropist and charity founder Linda Pace, after she saw one in her sleep.
Construction officially started on 31 May 2017 and is expected to be complete in 2018. But the museum won't officially open to the public before 2019. Ruby City is expected to cost $16 million and will be entirely funded by the Linda Pace Foundation.
According to the foundation’s president, Rick R Moore, the building will create a “functional symbol” of San Antonio’s ongoing love affair with the arts. “San Antonio has long been a destination for art aficionados and creators alike, and the Linda Pace Foundation was created to bolster that legacy through its collections, programmes and public spaces,” he says.
Ruby City’s striking red concrete exterior will be created using panels of red-toned precast concrete that will shimmer in the light, thanks to an aggregate of glass and mica. The building will also feature a series of strategically placed windows that offer views out to an adjacent park and the San Pedro Creek beyond.
Skylights will be dotted across the building's angular roof, creating dramatic, top-lit galleries inside. There will also be a grand staircase connecting the various exhibition spaces, while a sculpture garden will surround the building.
Ruby City is among a series of US commissions for London-based Adjaye, who has just completed one of the most important projects of his career, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC.
Adjaye was recently named “The World’s Most Influential Architect” by Time magazine. He is also a patron of the inaugural Africa Architecture Awards.