Housing the Linda Pace Foundation’s growing collection of more than 900 paintings, sculptures, installations and video works by contemporary artists from around the world, Ruby City will be the first center dedicated to the acquisition and presentation of postmodern and contemporary art in San Antonio. The building, which is located on Camp Street, forms part of campus extending from South Flores Street to the San Pedro Creek that also includes Chris Park, a one-acre public green space named in memory of Pace’s son, and Studio, an auxiliary exhibition space opened to the public
Inspired by Linda’s drawing of the ‘Ruby City’ (an ideal city, which came to her in a dream), the design for the building is a cluster of gallery volumes that presents a narrative about the collection and captures the spirit of Linda’s life and work. The exterior of the structure will be clad in deep red panels of precast concrete with glass and mica aggregate that will shimmer in the light. Largely rectangular, the building will feature a dramatic rooftop of sloping angles and skylights that will rise to varying heights and echo cut-away spaces at the building’s base. The planes will be punctuated by strategically placed lenses that will overlook Chris Park and a new sculpture garden.
The building is conceived as a loop – a grand stair off the lobby slowly steps upward and culminates at the second floor at a window overlooking Chris Park. From here visitors move through the three sculpted, vaulted gallery spaces each with a skylight – or lantern – oriented to varying positions that temper and filter the harsh San Antonio light. The galleries each feature concrete floors with white walls and ceilings to allow the extensive collection to take center focus. The last gallery, prior to descending back to the lobby, overlooks the entry plaza and the San Pedro Creek. The entrance plaza, formed by the building’s cantilevered structure and the ground floor lobby, share the vibrant ruby color pattern establishing a dynamic and porous relationship between indoor and outdoor elements.