As designed by Kyu Sung Woo Architects, the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art provides a new modern home for a significant collection of contemporary art on the campus of Johnson County Community College. The museum, which will exhibit works by artists such as Dana Schutz, Kehinde Wiley, Uta Barth, Kerry James Marshall and Do-Ho Suh, also serves as the starting point of a campus-wide art installation program.
The limestone-and-glass structure acts as a new entrance to the campus and connects the school to the neighboring community. The museum entrance faces the main streets and a 1.5-acre front lawn leading to the campus. The main gallery space cantilevers out 22 feet beyond the entrance, which features an exterior installation by artist Leo Villareal.
A glass-enclosed lobby runs along one side of the museum, offering broad views of the surroundings and showcasing what’s happening inside. Retaining walls extending into the landscape help define an exterior garden and connect the building to the land. Local materials such as limestone cladding also tie the building to its natural setting.
The interior provides flexible exhibition space for the museum’s permanent collection and temporary shows, as well as educational and social spaces. Daylight is drawn into the building along the perimeter with clerestory windows that wash the walls with light. A double-height atrium wrapped with perforated metal joins the museum to an adjacent technology center and helps integrate the museum with campus life.