Like a budding flower with extended roots, the new Family Room stitches the informal/local activity of experiencing art through intuitive play to the larger experience of the Getty's collection.
The design of the project is based on a series of oppositions that react in a complimentary way to the Getty's campus. While the Getty is an extensive, permanent, monochromatic, and formally based project, the Family Room is conceived as a diminutive, temporary, polychromatic, experientially based room within a room.
The project is made up of two concentric components:
The first consists of six "coves" positioned in the middle of the existing "white box" gallery. Each cove relates to one of the six areas of the Getty's collections: Drawing, Illuminated Manuscripts, Photography, Painting, Sculpture, and Decorative Arts. Nestled together like a Rubik's cube, and scaled to human height within a 20' cubic gallery, each cove contains a focused activity that relates to a specific work of art. Against the backdrop of these pieces, a spectrum of educational objectives and art/developmental issues are addressed via intuitive and experientially based engagement - using both fine and gross motor skills. Each cove is lined in an intense color that is extracted or set-off in a complimentary way to color sampled from the representative artworks. The exterior surface of these mini-spaces is a reflective continuous skin of stainless steel, occasionally interrupted by views inside the coves, thru viewing lenses, or child-scaled cutouts.
While the coves are focused and isolated, perimeter "treasure hunt" walls intermittently punctuate the outer wall of the gallery. Following "tongues" of color from the coves, these fragmentary walls are embedded with objects and detailed images that one views through a series of peepholes. The images and objects relate to the broader collection in the galleries and create a link between childhood/family fun and the lifelong experience of enjoying art. The peepholes can be experienced casually, or in a more structured and challenging atmosphere - where the venture might extend into the actual galleries.