Lux Art Institute redefines the museum experience by making art more accessible and personally meaningful. A major part of their mission includes educating and engaging the community to foster an appreciation of the living artist and creative process. The new facility and associated gardens are dramatically increasing the organization’s programming and reach, while providing a vibrant space for creativity, education, and community for all of San Diego County.
The Lux Art Institute is located on South El Camino Real overlooking the San Elijo Lagoon and surrounded by a wildlife preserve that stretches to the Pacific Ocean. The new one-acre Education Pavilion embraces the connection to this stunning natural setting through a series of garden terraces accessed via expansive roll-up doors. The design of these exterior spaces explores the juxtaposition of modern form and native landscape to create an authentic and dynamic outdoor experience. A large bioswale is the primary feature of the lower terrace and functions as the site’s water quality treatment facility. A series of IPE wood bridges span the bioswale and engage the users within the landscape. Two sets of IPE wood stairs lead patrons to the various spaces found in the upper terrace. An amphitheater frames the upper terrace and offers the Institute an outdoor classroom environment to further their mission of art education and appreciation. Each room within the gardens has been structured to offer a variety of scales that support creative exploration, education, and play.
Five mature California Sycamores were preserved during construction and integrated as primary features in the design. The landscape palette is inspired by the native coastal sage scrub found throughout the Lux facility and surrounding open space. The palette includes a diverse range of native species which provide seasonal color and striking textural contrast while achieving significant water savings. The Education Pavilion illustrates how design can facilitate and reinforce an organization’s mission while thoughtfully integrating sustainable and environmentally responsive solutions.