City planners reject BIG’s second design for Kimball Art Centre

Danish firm BIG’s second proposal to extend the Kimball Art Centre in Park City, Utah has been rejected by planning authorities as it failed to meet strict local preservation guidelines.

Kimball Art Centre has been a local landmark since 1976, however the non-profit organisation wants to double its size with a new building at the intersection of the Main Street and Heber Avenue.

The architecture firm’s first proposal was a wooden structure built from railway sleepers, but it didn’t make it to City Hall, as it became widely criticised for being not matching the character of the historic setting.

Following the city hall meeting, the council decided against the new concrete proposal as it does not conform to the Old Town planning guidelines.

Although the second design was more popular and gained two-thirds of the public’s approval, a notice signed by city preservation planner Anya Grant and planning director Thomas Eddigton stated that the design was rejected.

Eddington told local newspaper Park Record that the designs did not relate to the art centre building neither aesthetically nor historically and commented that it would not be compatible with the historic streetscape.

“There was a lot of effort put into this building,” Eddington said. “Everyone wants for the Kimball to be in this location.”

The arts organisation has ten days to appeal the decision, ending on 2 September.

“Our board of directors is surprised and disappointed with the city’s decision, but we will move forward with evaluating the most viable options for keeping art thriving in and around Park City,” said Kimball director Robin Marrouche.

“This outcome is not what we had hoped for, but we respect the process, and we will take time to determine our next steps.”.