The museum, which opened its doors at the end of last year, bears the names of patrons - the spouses Jan Schrem and Maria Manetti Schrem. Located at the entrance to the University of California Davis campus, the building is a current type of functionally flexible cultural institution: it is intended not only to house a collection of more than five thousand works of art. It is also a research and educational center for the general public, and its exposition is based on the work of university students and alumni.
The competition for the museum design in 2013 was won by SO - IL and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson. The architects proposed a composition of three pavilions and two open spaces under a single canopy. Behind the entrance plaza, designed for outdoor events, there is a gallery and educational pavilions, and between them is a "functional" building. The gallery part contains five exhibition halls, a study room dedicated to the museum collection, two salons and utility rooms. In the educational area, there are classrooms, workshops, performance spaces, a studio connected to an open “courtyard of the arts”. The "functional building" houses a room for volunteers, offices of employees, a kitchen, etc.
The pavilion walls are full-height concrete panels, some of which have received a vertical ribbed texture. These arrays are interconnected by the lobby space; it is located between the plaza and the courtyard and is separated from them by transparent walls made of flat and curved laminated glass panels. The museum effectively uses the technique of merging the interior and exterior: an overflowing space is flexible and capable of transforming.
But the hallmark of the building is the 5,000 m2 permeable white canopy. It is a surface with a height of 4 meters (from the campus and entrance) to 11 meters (from the motorway side) with cells filled with hollow perforated aluminum triangular beams. The different directions of the beams in different cells and the variety of their lengths create a vibrant patchwork effect, reflecting the bucolic landscape of the California Valley, where the university campus is located. In addition to the demanded function of protection against heat, the canopy unites the volumes of the pavilions, articulates the space of the plaza and the courtyard. It also acts as a console along the entire perimeter of the building, blurring the boundaries of the building and weaving it into the campus space. Natural and artificial lighting is used to energize and dramatize canopy spaces.
The museum expresses the values and merits of a university that evolved from an agricultural college and now prides itself on leadership in a number of disciplines. In the project, the history of the university was expressed in special attention paid to landscaping (including planting only local plants that do not require special care). Among the energy-saving technologies used are water and electricity saving systems. The project budget is $ 30 million, the total area of the building is 6970 m2.