The Cape Cod Museum of Art in Dennis, Massachusetts was established to preserve the artistic heritage of the area. Axis Mundi’s proposal for its design honors that heritage with a structure derived from the archetypal barn and shed forms ubiquitous throughout this picturesque peninsula. Yet rather than rely on straightforward imitation of these buildings, the design lays out several interconnected structures over a branching pattern, rooting them more firmly, if imperceptibly, to place by evoking the fractal geometries repeated throughout the natural landscape surrounding the site—trees, patterns of receding tides in the sand, plant roots and others. Forming the spine of the museum, the galleries are lined with industrial skylights and structural steel half-trusses, allowing northern light to flood the exhibition spaces. The scale shifts to more intimate spaces in administration offices, restoration facilities and storage, a museum shop and café, and multipurpose/educational facilities. Non-profit institutional cost concerns are managed through economical industrial steel-shed construction, poured concrete, glass and untreated cedar siding.

Total: 27,000 sq. ft.

Design Team: John Beckmann, Marielle Vargas, Jon Polo, and Masaru Ogasawara
Renderings and Diagrams: Marielle Vargas, Jon Polo, Masaru Ogasawara and Denise Pereira
© Axis Mundi Design LLC