Olson Kundig to design Oklahoma’s Bob Dylan Centre

by Megan Whitby | 09 Jul 2018

A new attraction set to house more than 100,000 Bob Dylan artefacts will open in Oklahoma in 2021, with architects Olson Kundig to design the exhibition space.

There is already a Bob Dylan Archive situated in the University of Tulsa’s Helmerich Center for American Research at Gilcrease Museum.

However, the archive, which includes never-before-seen memorabilia featuring unrecorded song lyrics is not open to the public but is instead only open to approved researchers.

Olson Kundig will be the chief architects creating the public site. In order to be awarded the project, Olson Kundig had to compete in an international competition headed by George Kaiser Family Foundation (GKFF).

In 2016 GKFF acquired the artefacts, as well as land for the centre, and worked alongside the University of Tulsa to house the archives.

The land the foundation acquired for the centre is coincidentally situated Southeast of the Woody Guthrie Centre – a musician who has had a large influence on Dylan's career.

Olson Kundig’s competition entry ‘was focused on the notion of Bob Dylan as a "Master of Change"'.

Design principals Tom Kundig and Alan Maskin “envisioned the new Bob Dylan Center as the embodiment of continual change, from the building’s architectural approach to its exhibit design and rotating installations”.

"We are not only acting as architectural support to Bob’s transformational legacy and creative, disciplined force," said Tom Kundig, who called the project "deeply meaningful".

"We are also helping to preserve the teaching value of his legacy for future generations".

The architects envisioned the centre as "a dynamic, multifaceted venue, housing permanent, temporary and traveling exhibitions readily accessible by artists, historians, musicologists, and the general public seeking a deeper comprehension of Dylan’s work".

"I’m glad that my archives have finally found a home and are to be included with the works of Woody Guthrie," said Dylan. "To me, it makes a lot of sense and it’s a great honour."

Olson Kundig  Oklahoma  Bob Dylan  George Kaiser Family Foundation  Tom Kundig  Alan Maskin 
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