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David Adjaye's Ruby City art gallery has opened in Texas

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The building creates a narrative journey through the space that allows the collection to be accessed in an organic and meaningful way.
– Sir David Adjaye

The Ruby City contemporary art centre, designed by British architect Sir David Adjaye, has opened in San Antonio, Texas.

So-called because of the ruby red colour of its precast concrete exterior, the 14,000sq ft (1,300sq m) gallery houses more than 900 paintings, sculptures, installations and video works. Its design was inspired by the vision of the late collector and philanthropist Linda Pace and, in part, by the Spanish missions built in the US during the 16th to 19th centuries.

Outside, the lowest 10ft (3m) of the building's skin is polished for passersby to touch. Above that, the concrete wall is described as "rough, sharp, and encrusted with varying shades of red glass."

Two angled skylights on top of the building animate the roofline and let natural light into the three gallery spaces, through which visitors pass on a looped path. There is an adjacent sculpture park outside.

Speaking about the design, Adjaye said: "My goal was to translate Linda's idea into a building that will do justice to her legacy. It is a tremendous responsibility and one that is dear to my heart.

"Linda had a clear vision for how the institution should be an inspirational space for the community and interact with its surroundings, drawing visitors into the jewel-like structure while connecting to the San Antonio landscape. The building creates a narrative journey through the space that allows the collection to be accessed in an organic and meaningful way."

Work on Ruby City was completed in June this year and it opened to the public this weekend.

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The Ruby City contemporary art centre, designed by British architect Sir David Adjaye, has opened in San Antonio, Texas.
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