The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) opened in 1969. Designed by architect Kevin Roche in collaboration with Dan Kiley (landscape design) and Geraldine Knight Scott (gardens), this concrete building with its pavilion system and its integration of outdoor/indoor spaces signifies an important example of mid-century modernism. The museum features three tiers housing the art, history, and natural science collection. In 2009 plans for a major renovation and expansion were announced: Mark Cavagnero Associates was selected for the design. In 2013 the museum reopened showing off the collection in a new light.
I always enjoy strolling through their permanent collection and exploring the works by Richard Diebenkorn, Ruth Asawa, Mark Rothko and many others. The OMCA has a imaginative way of orchestrating temporary exhibitions with focus on the Bay Area in particular and California in general. Their permanent collection on California History on Level 2 is a must see.
The equally terraced sculpture gardens have a very inviting feel about them and are accessible from all three levels. They are home to more than 80 spices of plants and more than 50 sculptures. These gardens are one of my favorite outdoor spaces in Oakland to visit - both peaceful and inspiring - especially in spring when the cherry trees blossom.