Laguna Gloria, the museum's fourteen-acre campus on the shores of Lake Austin, offers visitors a unique art-in-nature experience, with opportunities for the public to explore art and the creative process through installations and exhibitions by preeminent international artists, dynamic events and community programs for all ages, and classes at the Art School. Since fall 2013, The Contemporary Austin has been actively engaged in the revitalization of this beloved site through its Master Plan for Laguna Gloria.
Visit our events calendar for information on upcoming workshops, films, and other museum programs.
See what's blooming at Laguna Gloria throughout the year here!
Transforming Laguna Gloria
Featuring new works of art, a café, a museum shop, graceful terraces, and a welcoming entrance for its guests, the new Laguna Gloria aims to greatly enhance the visitor experience at the museum’s beloved site on the shores of Lake Austin. Home to permanent and changing installations of contemporary sculptures in the Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park, an active Art School serving students of all ages and levels, and the historic Driscoll Villa, the fourteen-acre art-in-nature destination now includes a number of well-designed amenities situated in modern steel and glass structures and outdoor terraces along a shaded, landscaped pathway at the property’s entrance.
The Moody Pavilions
Designed by Trahan Architects of New Orleans, with landscape design by Reed Hilderbrand of Boston, the new structures comprising the Moody Pavilions occupy a compact footprint at the entrance to Laguna Gloria on West 35th Street. Two small buildings—the Shop at The Contemporary and the café, épicerie at The Contemporary—are connected by a walkway, kept cool through the shade of high, white canopies. Incorporating steel, glass, and concrete into a minimalist design, the texture, materials, and shapes of the structures are distinctly modern while complementing the existing, historic architecture at the site. In addition to the café, shop and visitor center, and new restroom facilities, visitors are invited to enjoy two beautifully landscaped and furnished terraces.
Photograph by Alexa Johnson.
épicerie at The Contemporary
épicerie at The Contemporary is the second outpost of épicerie Café & Grocery in Austin’s Rosedale neighborhood, led by chef-owner Sarah McIntosh. Situated at the entrance to the park, épicerie at The Contemporary features fresh French-Cajun comfort food for eating on site or taking to go. Creative fare like salmon and kale salad, a lamb meatball sandwich, and a grilled comté sandwich with tomato soup, along with the restaurant’s broad selection of fine cheeses, charcuterie, beer, wine, and gourmet coffee, are available at the walk-up window. Guests may enjoy a meal, snack, or drink within the new shaded terraces, or find a grassy picnic spot throughout the grounds of the fourteen-acre sculpture park.
Breakfast and lunch served daily, 8:30A-3:30P
Shop at The Contemporary
The Shop at The Contemporary features a unique selection of artist-designed merchandise and other handpicked products from around the world. These include design-based home décor items, hand-carved birdcalls from Germany (a nod to the more than 200 distinct species that have been spotted by birders at Laguna Gloria), a modern rethinking of the picnic basket, stationery, and other items that visitors and shoppers have come to seek in a modern, design-forward museum gift shop.
Museum members receive a 10% discount at the Shop at The Contemporary. Join Now!
Have a question about the Shop at The Contemporary? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org today!
Photograph by Colin Doyle.
Learn More: Construction and Restoration
In fall 2013, the Edward and Betty Marcus Foundation awarded The Contemporary Austin a $9 million grant to support the creation of the Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park at Laguna Gloria. Presently, the recognized landscape architecture firm Reed Hilderbrand is engaged in a Master Plan that will transform Laguna Gloria into an exceptional space for the public to experience art in a vibrant natural setting.
To date, the site has featured sculptures by an array of internationally acclaimed artists as part of its permanent collection and rotating temporary installations, among them Ai Weiwei, Terry Allen, Huma Bhabha, Tom Friedman, Roger Hiorns, Nancy Holt, Anya Gallaccio, Orly Genger, Jim Lambie, Paul McCarthy, Wangechi Mutu, Yoko Ono, Tom Sachs, Monika Sosnowska, Do Ho Suh, Marianne Vitale, and Ursula von Rydingsvard. Through the Master Plan for Laguna Gloria, The Contemporary Austin seeks to create a campus that is richly useful for the local community and supportive of ambitious collaborations with artists and curators. Through careful planning, Laguna Gloria will continue to evolve into an extraordinary cultural destination that showcases sound stewardship of the native Texas landscape and engages new audiences with contemporary art and culture.
Reed Hilderbrand was recognized with the 2017 Excellence Award in Analysis and Planning from the Boston Society of Landscape Architects for its ongoing work at the Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park at Laguna Gloria.
Beginning in 2017, The Contemporary Austin embarked on Phase I of the Master Plan in consultation with Reed Hilderbrand, Trahan Architects, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, and Benz Resource Group.
Phase I, officially breaking ground in March 2018, aims to increase accessibility and enhance experiences with art through a more visible and inviting entrance experience and enhancements to pedestrian safety. This includes building a series of new welcome pavilions and covered terraces, featuring shaded orientation and gathering spaces, a café and visitor center, an artist-designed museum shop, and new restroom and locker facilities.
Named the Moody Pavilions in honor of a $3 million grant from The Moody Foundation, these new features will transform Laguna Gloria into an extraordinary space to discover works of art framed by the vibrant natural landscape. In addition to the grant from The Moody Foundation, Phase I is supported by more than $3 million in total grants from the Still Water Foundation, Edward and Betty Marcus Foundation, The Meadows Foundation, Austin Community Foundation, and The O’Shaughnessy-Rivers Family Fund, along with gifts from board Trustees Jeanne and Mickey Klein, Kathleen Irvin Loughlin and Chris Loughlin, and Jannette and Pat Keating.
In 2017, as part of Phase I of the Master Plan, The Contemporary Austin also began the process of removing invasive shrubs, vines, and trees from throughout Laguna Gloria’s fourteen acres. The Invasive Species Removal Project will leave a dramatic mark on the landscape that will open sightlines for outdoor sculptures, encourage native species to thrive, preserve heritage trees, and restore the overall ecological health of Laguna Gloria.