ArtCenter College of Design / The Peter and Merle Mullin Gallery
Details of Design: Beauty, Aerodynamics and Functionalism – Streamlining the driving experience
October 26, 2018 through October 2019
Details of Design features vehicles from the Mullin Automotive Museum Collection and other private collectors and organizations from throughout Southern California. The exhibit was curated and organized by The Scenic Route under the guidance of Peter Mullin. The cars on display prompt visitors to examine the work and methods of six automobile designers, or design teams, who created streamlined vehicles from the 1920s to today. This global selection of designers, which includes ArtCenter alumni, was chosen for their significant contributions to automotive styling. Together, Paul Jaray, Gabriel Voisin, Joseph Figoni, Peter Brock, Frank Stephenson and Art Center alumni from the Faraday Future design team reveal key aspects of the evolution of transportation design and anticipate how automobile styling will be augmented in our future.
The gallery will feature six vehicles on permanent display and four additional vehicles from the Mullin Automotive Museum Collection during the opening celebration.
- 1935 Voisin Type C25 Aérodyne Coachwork designed by Gabriel Voisin Collection of the Mullin Automotive Museum and Peter Mullin Automotive Museum Foundation
- 1937 Delahaye Type 135 M Coachwork designed by Joseph Figoni Collection of the Mullin Automotive Museum and Peter Mullin Automotive Museum Foundation
- 1938 Tatra Type 87 Saloon Coachwork designed by Paul Jaray and Hans Ledwinka Collection of the Mullin Automotive Museum and Peter Mullin Automotive Museum Foundation
- 2005 Superformance Shelby Daytona Coupe Designed by Peter Brock Courtesy of Ronald and Sherri Weingart
- 2015 McLaren P1 Designed by Frank Stephenson (BS 86 Transportation Design) Private Collection
- 2016 Faraday Future FFZERO1 Concept Designer: Hanbin Youn (BS 13 Transportation Design) and the Faraday Design Team Courtesy of Faraday Future Design
- Additional Opening Vehicles: 1902 Darracq Roadster, 1932 Bugatti Type 55 Super Sport, 1935 Hispano-Suiza Type J12 Cabriolet, 1937 Peugeot 302 DS Darl’Mat Cabriolet by Pourtout Collection of the Mullin Automotive Museum and Peter Mullin Automotive Museum Foundation
There is more to this story, at least when it comes to the gallery itself –
Los Angeles-based architecture and design studio Darin Johnstone Architects (DJA) announces the completion of the Peter and Merle Mullin Gallery, a state-of-the-art automotive and fine art gallery located on the ground floor of the 1111 South Arroyo Parkway building, one of the newest additions to ArtCenter’s growing South Campus. The expansive 6,300 sf space is designed to function as an automotive gallery in keeping with the donor’s passions and prolific car collection and ArtCenter’s dedication to innovation in automotive design. The Peter and Merle Mullin Gallery opens to the public on October 26, 2018 with the “Iconic Design: 70 Years of ArtCenter Influence” exhibition, part of ArtCenter’s much-anticipated Car Classic 2018, celebrating the 70th anniversary of the College’s Transportation Design program. The exhibition will be on view from October 28, 2018 through late 2019.
“ArtCenter’s commitment to design education and culture actualized through building is incredible, and it is a true honor to work with such an amazing institution. The Mullin Gallery in particular has been an exciting challenge.The presence of the gallery on the street, at this historic nexus in the city, and the gesture of the ‘fin wall’, signifies and reinforces the presence of ArtCenter in the urban and cultural landscape of the city. The design developed in a really interesting way. It started as a simple gallery but the more we thought about the automobile as an object of art inside the gallery as well as an instrument for viewing the gallery while moving through the city the more the project evolved. In a way it caused us to turn the project inside out and project back into the city.” said architect Darin Johnstone.
Designed to feature the automobile as an object of art, the gallery itself reflects the beauty of modern transportation design. The main entrance to the otherwise rectilinear space is presented by a large curvilinear wall that keys into the aerodynamic shape of automobiles, and very purposefully reflects the exact turning radius of the average vehicle. This feature wall extends from the interior to the exterior where it de-materializes into 12-foot-high steel fins that create a lenticular effect. On approach from the south, the public sculpture, which also serves as a subtle screen, displays “Mullin” in bold graphics. When approached from the north, the fin wall displays “Gallery.” The gallery features two large pocketing glass doors which allow automobiles easy access to the space. Beyond the glass walls, a terrace and built-in seating that
flank the fin wall extend the gallery’s footprint to allow indoor and outdoor activation. The placement and visibility of the gallery at this intersection in the city embodies ArtCenter’s importance in the evolution of automotive design. “We used auto pathways to form the curving walls that organize the interior gallery, the exterior courtyard, and the parking and garden areas beyond. This language of curved walls was used to form all the discrete elements of the project; gallery walls, reception desk, exterior walls, benches, and planters. In particular, the dematerialized ‘fin wall’ that separates the gallery courtyard from the street became a key design feature that we are really excited about.” said Johnstone.
The Mullin Gallery will not feature any permanent collections. In addition to transportation related exhibits the multi-functional gallery is planned to showcase various topics in art and design in the coming years. Stephen Nowlin, Director of the Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery in the historic Ellwood building at ArtCenter’s Hillside Campus will also be the director of the Mullin Gallery.
The Terri and Jerry Kohl Commons adjacent to the Mullin Gallery on level one and the Bruce Heavin and Lynda Weinmann Alumni Center on the fourth floor of 1111 South Arroyo Parkway Building are two more DJA designed projects opening in conjunction with the Mullin Gallery this month.
In the 1111 South Arroyo parkway building DJA has designed and completed ArtCenter renovations on four out of the six building levels and is currently working on plans to renovate level two. With ArtCenter to date, DJA has designed and completed 8 building renovation projects for 7 different departments over the last five years totaling over 130,000 square feet of academic space including classrooms, galleries, archives, studios, labs, cafes, public spaces, offices and support spaces.