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Greater Tulsa Reporter


OKPOP Museum Unveils Design Rendering


PRESTIGIOUS FACILITY: The Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture (OKPOP) design rendering for the museum was unveiled July 16. Lilly Architects along with Overland Partners of San Antonio were selected to design the space located across the street from the historic Cain’s Ballroom.



Oklahoma Historical Society officials unveiled on July 16 the rendering of the Oklahoma Museum of Pop Culture (OKPOP). Tulsa-based Lilly Architects and Overland Partners of San Antonio, Texas designed the facility that was revealed at the historic Cain’s Ballroom.

Nabholz Construction will construct OKPOP at 422 N. Main St. in Tulsa, across the street from the Cain’s Ballroom, home of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys. Tulsan David Sharp and Interak Corporation donated the quarter block of land for the OKPOP site, estimated to be valued at $1 million.

“Grit and glitz is a term the team coined to describe the overall feel of the project,” said Chris Lilly, principal of Lilly Architects. “With one cultural foot on Route 66 and the other on Main Street, OKPOP will highlight the journeyman’s struggle and the thrill of making it big – the grit and the glitz inherent to the life of Oklahoma’s creatives.”

Locally-owned and operated, Lilly Architects has served the greater Tulsa region since 2013.

Their portfolio includes several projects in the Tulsa Arts District including 36 Degrees North, the Archer Building, the Fox Hotel Building and the Bull in the Alley among many others. They partnered with Overland Partners, an architecture design firm that specializes in sustainable architecture, urban design, and master planning with award-winning projects across the globe. Their museum design experience includes the Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas, the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Latin American Art at the San Antonio Museum of Art, and the new Aquaculture Museum and Environmental Center located in Gaochun County, China.

“The design process was guided by paradoxes and surprises,” said Timothy B. Blonkvist, founder and principal of Overland. “Because pop culture itself reflects the trends of its time, the primary challenge for our team was to create a space that is both current and timeless, both popular and cultured.”

The design team found inspiration in a gold Fender Stratocaster custom made for Bob Wills’ guitarist Eldon Shamblin. The guitar encouraged the project’s gold color palette. The structure was designed to house a living experience that includes event venues, stages and retail space.

“The architectural design of OKPOP is inspired by the idea that Oklahoma creativity has flourished in the state because of a collision of cultures that resulted in a mixing of artistic styles, creating a rich storytelling tradition,” said OKPOP Executive Director Jeffrey Moore. “This creativity that sprung from barn dances and camp meetings in the country or the dance halls and movie theaters on Main Street spread to the rest of the world on the Will Rogers Highway, otherwise known as Route 66. Lilly Architects and Overland Partners captured this idea beautifully.”

OKPOP is dedicated to telling the story of the creativity of Oklahoma’s people and their influence on popular culture around the world. The OKPOP staff is actively collecting artifacts, photographs, archival materials, film, video and audio recordings that represent Oklahoma’s creative history.

Some of the famous Oklahomans OKPOP will feature include Will Rogers, Bob Wills, Joan Crawford, Gene Autry, Leon Russell, Reba McEntire, S. E. Hinton, Garth Brooks, Wes Studi, Alfre Woodard, James Marsden, Carrie Underwood and Kristin Chenoweth, among countless others.

“We are honored to have been chosen to create this space to showcase the artists and audiences that shaped Oklahoma’s past,” said Lilly. “We feel this space will evoke a sense of discovery and state pride for all visitors.”
OKPOP will break ground fall of 2018.

About Oklahoma Historical Society:
OKPOP is a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society. The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.

About Overland Partners:
Overland Partners Architects, founded in 1987 in San Antonio, brings together diverse talents to provide comprehensive design services in architecture and planning throughout the world. Sensitive to the environmental and aesthetic contexts of our projects, Overland thoughtfully integrates technology, art, and craft to uncover world-class, innovative sustainable solutions for highly complex projects. Our experience includes building and master planning projects for public and private clients in the United States, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and New Zealand. Our work has been acknowledged by more than 200 national, state, and local design awards and documented widely in national and international publications. Overland was recognized by Architect Magazine as one of the top 50 design firms in the United States in 2015 and one of the top 50 sustainable design firms in 2016.

About Lilly Architects:
Founded in 2013, Lilly Architects is a Tulsa, Oklahoma based design studio that is committed to identifying and revealing the indispensable factors that uniquely bring strength and vitality to each project. Our process is dedicated to this pursuit, from asking the right questions, to research, to providing fully integrated solutions. Our work includes cultural & institutional, mixed-use development, workplace, multi-family residential, retail, education, hospitality, and historic preservation. For more information, visit www.lillyarch.com.

Updated 07-24-2018

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