Oklahoma State University Museum of Art (OSUMA)

Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA

Spring 2014

OSUMA serves as an institution critical to the future success of Oklahoma State University. Situated adjacent to the current Seretean Center of Performing Arts, OSUMA is designed as part of this new Arts District of the OSU campus. As a distinctively land-grant research university Oklahoma A&M as an institution began with agricultural and mechanical programs and overtime has grown into the diverse amalgam of programs colleges and priorities. To hearken back to these rural beginnings the design for OSUMA is inspired my the sod houses of early plains settlement. Buried beneath the earth, cool and protected from the "winds that come sweeping down the plains".

Made from the earth itself OSUMA is seemingly pushed out of the ground. Large rammed earth walls support an extensive waffle slab of concrete that floats above the art below. The tallest rammed earth wall establishes a two-story "urban edge" along Knoblock providing public museum functions for the public. A cafe 3 sided courtyard  pulls students into the public functions while a primary entry is accessed from the green roof above at the corner of Knoblock and maple. 

A intensive green roof blankets the structure providing a new type of public social space for the OSU community. The green roof is planned as a counter to Theta Pond with sculpture, seating and diverse native plantings this public space in intended to be introvertedly active. The northeast portion of the roof is semi-peevishly paved for vehicular access when necessary. 

The interior of the museum are organized by a 3 part linear parti reaching to the north and south of the site. In varying degrees of privacy the first "strip" of the organization contains the more public functions and offices above on a second level, the second strip recesses into the earth an additional level and contains the gallery spaces. The final and eastern most zone contains the "back of house" functions for the employees of the museum.

Each zone of the interior contains natural daylight but in various forms of delivery. To the west a series of long narrow windows provides daylight to the interiors while a large skylight floods the offices and cafe with daylight. The galleries have limited daylight through filtered skylights that can be totally controlled at will. The event space at the southern most end of the project is awash in a ceiling of skylights that flood the space with daylight within. 

The project attempts to provide a new precedent for building at the Oklahoma State Campus. The Neo-Georgian campus makes a statement about who Oklahoma state was. With the design of OSUMA we attempt to say what Oklahoma state can be. 

Below you will find information collected, studied and formatted over the course of the semester long project. I have included many of the documents I prepared for various deadlines throughout the entire design process. Please note the delineation between SD,DD, and CD documents. 


Scope and Intent

Research, These Development, Site Analysis, Concept Design, Massing, Schematic Design, Design Developments, Selected Construction Document Production, Specifications, Material Studies, MEP Coordination, Structural Coordination


Dr. Tom Spector, Khaled Mansy, John Phillips


12 Weeks

Program Use

Revit, Photoshop, Indesign, Illustrator, Excel, Rhino


Pella Prize Design Finalist