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   from the issue of February 3, 2005

Quilt Center design competition finalists to present on March 8

The International Quilt Study Center will soon have a new home created by one of three well-known architects currently competing for the opportunity to design the building. The new, privately funded building will provide year-round exhibition space; work areas dedicated to research, care and maintenance of the collection, and expanded storage capacity. The 30,000 square foot facility is located at the northwest corner of 33rd and Holdrege streets.

A design competition is being held under the auspices of the University of Nebraska Foundation to identify the architect for the project. The total project cost including construction, professional fees and equipment is budgeted at $10.3 million. The University of Nebraska Board of Regents approved the program statement for the project at its meeting in September 2004.

An evaluation committee, composed of individuals from University of Nebraska Central Administration, UNL facilities management, UNL Department of Textiles, Clothing and Design faculty and staff, University of Nebraska Foundation and a design competition consultant who is the dean of the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of New Mexico, reviewed proposals from 37 architectural firms and identified three finalists:

• Kisho Kurokawa architects & associates of Tokyo, Japan, partnering with Sinclair Hille architects of Lincoln;

• Robert A.M. Stern Architects or New York, N.Y., partnering with Alley Poyner Architects of Omaha, and

• Studio Daniel Libeskind of New York, N.Y., local partner to be announced.

These firms will begin creating design plans, including architectural models, drawings and costs analyses in preparation for their final presentations to the committee on March 8.

The architectural and planning competition was funded by the Robert and Ardis James Foundation. The firm that wins the competition will receive the contract for the project and the two finalists will each receive $50,000 for their creative professional design services. The James Foundation also provided a leadership gift of $4 million for the building.

The IQSC represents one of the world's largest and most comprehensive collections of quilts. The collection, numbering more than 1,650 quilts, includes the Ardis and Robert James Collection of antique and contemporary studio art quilts, the Cargo Collection of African American Quilts and the Jonathan Holstein Collection of Pennsylvania Amish Quilts, as well as the seminal Whitney Collection.

Currently the IQSC is located on the second floor of the College of Education and Human Sciences Home Economics Building on UNL's East Campus in environmentally controlled storage room. The storage facility was built when Ardis and Robert James donated their quilt collection to UNL in 1997. No gallery space or dedicated work areas were prepared at that time; rather the plan was to use existing galleries on campus on a rotating basis for exhibition of the collection and to use selected classrooms, when vacant, for the routine care and conservation of the collection.

In addition to providing improved exhibition space, the new building will increase accessibility for scholars, students and the general public. An enlarged state-of-the-art storage space will allow the IQSC facility to remain a model facility in accord with the American Institute for Conservation and the American Association of Museums.



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