The Art Climb project grew out of the Cincinnati Art Museum’s site master plan to improve connections to nearby neighborhoods and to expand their galleries to include the surrounding site. In addition to providing places to sit and enjoy pieces of art and nature, the site design encourages and supports physical fitness and other activities, such as yoga, impromptu music concerts, plays, and plein air painting. While designed to be an outdoor art gallery, the Art Climb demonstrates how landscape itself can be a work of art.
The Art Climb will consist of monumental stairs leading to a series of terraces that accommodate artwork, seating, picnic tables, and performance spaces. The edges of the stairs will “tooth” into the landscape, creating an irregular edge that allows for plants and steps to intertwine. Stacked pre-cast walls, called “outcroppings”, echo the geological strata of local limestone and define the upper and lower edges of the terraces and stair landings.
Surrounding the Art Climb on both sides will be a layered and naturalized landscape garden that will create year-round visual interest for visitors. The plantings will gradually become more naturalized on the edges and fade into the existing hillside landscape.