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Olson Kundig Reveals Plans for Bob Dylan Center

Thursday, July 5, 2018

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Seattle-based architecture firm Olson Kundig recently revealed a proposal for the new Bob Dylan Center, to be located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in association with an archive of the musician’s belongings.

Olson Kundig will be serving as lead architect on the project, while collaborating with local firm Lilly Architects to create the center, as well as designing exhibits. Plains of Yonder will produce audio and multimedia experiences.

Bob Dylan Center

The firm was selected to lead the project after an international competition spearheaded by the George Kaiser Family Foundation. Working with the University of Tulsa, GKFF facilitated the acquisition of Dylan’s archive in 2016; the site for the center was acquired around the same time.

The new building will feature a purple and blue design on the walls, a central area with cafe chairs and tables and an indoor pavilion, housing black storage volumes and dark walls.

A separate area, equipped with a black ceiling and walls, is designed for optimum acoustics, with a series of private wood-lined nooks. One end of the area is open, connecting to a patio furnished with trees. Overheard, a quote from Dylan’s 2004 autobiography Chronicles, Volume One will read: "The little room was filled with American records and a phonograph. Izzy would let me stay back there and listen to them. I listened to as many as I could ..."

The center will also house thousands of items from the musician’s career, with one dimly lit section including glass-like volumes containing his belongings.

Proximity to Guthrie Archive

"I'm glad that my archives, which have been collected all these years, have finally found a home, and are to be included with the works of Woody Guthrie," Dylan said. "To me, it makes a lot of sense and it's a great [honor]."

In 2013, GKFF managed to secure a site for the building on Martin Luther King Boulevard, southeast of the Woody Guthrie Center, which houses the archives of the early-20th century folksinger, a significant influence on Dylan.

Dylan's collection will also be available for research; the University of Tulsa is the home of the Institute for Bob Dylan Studies. Groundbreaking for the center is slated for 2019, with opening predicted for 2021.

Olson Kundig is also known for its work on the renovation of Seattle’s Space Needle.

“Housing permanent, temporary and traveling exhibitions, the Center will be a multivalent venue readily accessible by artists, historians, musicologists and the general public seeking a deeper comprehension of Dylan’s work and the myriad of influences that it embodies and the offshoots that he has inspired,” Olson Kundig writes on its website.


Tagged categories: Architecture; Color + Design; Design build

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