After a nation-wide architectural search, Machado and Silvetti Associates was selected as the design architect for this project, in conjunction with Clark Patterson Lee as the Executive Architect. The project seeks to combine the Mint Museum of Art and the Mint Museum of Craft and Design—two related institutions at separate locations—in one building on a new site in downtown Charlotte.
The Mint is part of a larger “cultural campus,” which also includes a performing arts theater, an Afro-American cultural center and another art museum. The program brief also requires an eight-level parking garage below the Mint, and a 35-story condo tower on top of a portion of the museum. The ‘open door’ image of the building’s east facade fronts a large urban plaza along Charlotte’s principal north-south axis of Tryon Street, and creates a civically scaled entry for the institution, while symbolically acknowledging the two collections displayed inside.
From the plaza, a large public staircase rises to the second level where visitors arrive at a Grand Room, a multi-story atrium that houses some of the collections’ larger pieces and provides visitors with a preview of both museum collections. It also serves as the space around which the other elements of the museum are organized. On the second level, an auditorium, educational spaces and offices. Galleries for the Mint Museum of Craft and Design, and the Mint Museum of Art are on the third and fourth levels respectively. The fifth level contains a large events room and access to a roof terrace overlooking the civic plaza below.