Orange County Museum of Art


Orange County Museum of Art


Completion Date

Project Size
53,000 SF

Construction Cost
$73 million

Orange County Museum of Art

Costa Mesa

The Orange County Museum of Art has moved to a new 53,000-square-foot building at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa design by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Thom Mayne and his firm, Morphosis. It includes nearly 25,000 SF of exhibit space and 10,000 SF for education, performances and public gatherings.

The most striking feature of the new building is its complex exterior enclosure of custom secondary steel covered in a light-colored terracotta facade with bands of glazed terracotta panels. The exterior rainscreen is composed of more than 7,000 custom terracotta panels which wave across the complex curves of the museum's exterior. Terracotta is known for its durability, sustainability and hand-made, artisan qualities, but it is also inherently brittle. As the enclosure engineer, our team was tasked with designing an efficient and cost-effective secondary system to integrate the terracotta and long-span glazing components of the enclosure while protecting the fragile elements from potential seismic motion.

Our team generated geometrical models of the complex systems for both engineering analysis and documentation of the enclosure. Our LOD 300-level model bridged the gap between the design and construction teams providing an accurate and efficient means of delivering the geometrically complex secondary steel system.