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Everson Museum of Art names finalists in competition to design museum café

By Eric Reinhardt

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The Everson Museum of Art at 401 Harrison St. in Syracuse has selected four finalists in its competition to design the museum’s café. Each finalist will travel to Syracuse in September to participate in a public symposium and present a developed proposal to a jury of professionals. The jury will then select one firm to receive a commission to complete the new café. (Eric Reinhardt / BJNN)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse has selected four finalists in its competition to design a museum café.

The finalists include FreelandBuck, which has offices in Los Angeles and New York City; Millions, which is located near Los Angeles; Naturalbuild of Shanghai, China; and Norman Kelley, which has offices in Chicago and New Orleans, per a Tuesday news release.

The Everson selected the finalists following an internal review of “invited submissions” from architecture offices located in Canada, China, Greece, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and the U.S.

Each finalist will travel to Syracuse in September to participate in a public symposium and present a developed proposal to a jury of professionals in architecture, ceramics, and the culinary arts. The jury will select one firm to receive a commission to complete the new café.

The projected date of completion for the café is the summer of 2020, the Everson said.

The Everson is currently celebrating the 50th anniversary of its “iconic,” I.M. Pei-designed building and is working to “revitalize Pei’s masterpiece,” it said. Pei, who also designed Syracuse University’s Newhouse I, died May 16 at the age of 102.

The organization partnered with the Syracuse School of Architecture to host what it describes as an “international” competition to design the Everson’s café.

“This competition provides a tremendous opportunity for some of the world’s most talented emerging architects to propose an intervention in what is undoubtedly one of the late I.M. Pei’s greatest works,” Kyle Miller, an assistant professor in the Syracuse School of Architecture, said in the Everson release.

Miller and Syracuse Architecture Dean Michael Speaks are organizing the competition in collaboration with the Everson Museum.

“This unique project proposes new ways of thinking about the integration of art and architecture, which is a critical component of Pei’s original design,” Elizabeth Dunbar, director & CEO of the Everson, said. “This café will be unlike any other in the world.”

The café will also serve as a venue to showcase and put into use the Rosenfield Collection, a newly acquired piece functional ceramic art collection assembled by Dallas-based couple Louise and David Rosenfield.

Contact Reinhardt at ereinhardt@cnybj.com

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