Chris Sanders is a student in the School of Architecture at Oklahoma State University. Last fall, he participated in a class project called “Ideas for the New OSU Art Museum,” in which students conceptualized and designed renovations for the interior and exterior of the Postal Plaza. Under the guidance of Professors Jeanne Homer and Awilda Rodriguez, students used available drawings of the Postal Plaza to create designs that responded to potential museum needs, from the pragmatic to the creative. As curator of the art collection, I presented some ideas about collection storage and display to the students at the beginning of the semester. They also carried out their own research into museum facilities, industry standards, and visitor expectations. Chris’s project considers the Postal Plaza in context, suggesting a re-thinking of the building that emphasizes community and continuity.
The Oklahoma State University Museum of Art
In developing a connection between the university and downtown Stillwater, the design brings in greenery and nature into the seemingly concrete core of the city.
Designed with the idea of renovation rather than reconstruction, the original post office has been internally transformed and allowed to perform as a museum serving art-enthusiasts and the Stillwater community alike. Seemingly thick walls provide order within the museum while show-casing visible storage displays. The walls are also intended to reminisce an ancient dwelling, establishing the notion of renovation over reconstruction.
Shifting the entry to the south side of the building provides a much more public, park-like transition into the museum while displaying and restoring the handsome original facade as a permanent work of art within the temporary exhibition gallery. This move further establishes the notion of preserving our original Stillwater community.