Iranian Farshid Moussavi’s Prismatic MOCA in Cleveland Goes for LEED Silver

architecture, MOCA, Farshid Moussavi, Cleveland, Iran, design, LEEDFarshid Moussavi’s inaugural project in the United States, the sharp Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, is expected to achieve LEED Silver certification if it performs as designed.

Born in Iran but currently based in London, Moussavi recently split up with her former work and life partner and beat out a lot of competition to win the MOCA project. But with a price tag of $27.2 million and more glass than we like to see on a new build, we predictably take issue with calling the project sustainable.

architecture, MOCA, Farshid Moussavi, Cleveland, Iran, design, LEED

The three story museum opens with an enormous lobby area and a bold staircase that winds through the interior. A striking series of shiny triangular panels culminate in a four-sided crown, giving the museum its unique shape.

Some of the panels are transparent, which ushers in a smattering of natural light.

architecture, MOCA, Farshid Moussavi, Cleveland, Iran, design, LEED

Moussavi was tasked with accommodating a mechanical plant within the building, but she wasn’t able to include a basement due to costs. So she had to use her 34,000 square feet wisely.

For some, an expensive new art museum in Cleveland was a controversial choice given the city’s industrial reputation. For others, it’s an opportunity to set forth a renaissance of sorts, or at the very least some urban renewal.

But for Moussavi, this design will be critical to her career development. If it is well-received, then she may be on her way, according to Sharon McHugh for World Architecture News.

architecture, MOCA, Farshid Moussavi, Cleveland, Iran, design, LEED

And the alternative would be to slip back into relative obscurity.

Certainly it’s a beautiful building, and perhaps it will achieve LEED silver, but we’re a bit disappointed to see yet another rising star in the design world with a Middle Eastern background take the glitzy road versus one that might actually lead somewhere.

::Farshid Moussavi

Image credit: Dean Kaufman/Courtesy MOCA Cleveland

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