Indianapolis Museum of Art partners with David Rubin LAND COLLECTIVE to create master plan

IMA engages architecture & design firm to build sustainable future 


INDIANAPOLIS, Jan. 12, 2017—The Indianapolis Museum of Art announced today that it has partnered with the landscape architecture and urban design studio, David Rubin LAND COLLECTIVE, to develop a Master Land Use plan for the IMA’s 152-acre campus.

The plan will serve as a roadmap for the next 30 years, addressing access, infrastructure, connectivity, space and land use needs. A major goal of the plan is to integrate the IMA’s cultural and natural resources to create a holistic campus experience.

“The IMA is in the process of defining what it means to be a living museum with a combination of extraordinary assets: a great art collection, stunning gardens, renowned historic sites, a nature preserve, sculpture park, unique performance and event spaces, and even a preschool,” said Dr. Charles L. Venable, the IMA’s Melvin & Bren Simon Director and CEO. “We are almost unique nationally in having such incredible, diverse resources that enable us to deliver a one-of-a-kind experience to our guests. We are thrilled to partner with David Rubin LAND COLLECTIVE to better understand how we can unify these resources to create even more exceptional experiences for the public while building a sustainable financial future for the IMA.”

Based out of Philadelphia, David Rubin LAND COLLECTIVE has extensive experience in Indiana landscapes and has collaborated on projects for Eskenazi Health Hospital – “The Commonground”; the Indianapolis DBU Headquarters Park for Cummins, Inc.; Grand Junction Plaza for the City of Westfield; and the Kitselman Trailhead for the Cardinal Greenway, Inc. and the City of Muncie. The studio also has experience integrating art and architecture—the Eskenzai and Cummins projects both had heavy art components.

“I became a member of the IMA several years ago, long before any professional affiliation connected me to this extraordinary institution,” said David Rubin, principal at LAND COLLECTIVE. “Working on projects in and around Indianapolis, I found the museum assets and expansive gardens to be a welcome place for emotional recharge and intellectual stimulation between project meetings. This is a unique place—like no other I have found in all of my travels— with untapped resources that have the capacity to serve the breadth of the region’s population. I call it a ‘constellation of assets’—a living Jacco Olivier painting—where every citizen can find themselves enriched by ever-changing, stimulating experiences throughout the year. It is my home away from home.”

LAND COLLECTIVE has engaged a team of consultants to collaborate on the project, including the land use planning and architecture firm, Beyer Blinder Belle; historic planning and preservation consultants from PennPraxis; engineering and surveying firm, Nitsch Engineering; public space design and management firm, ETM Associates, L.L.C.; and the Indiana-based construction company, The Hagerman Group. The multifaceted team will examine the IMA’s existing challenges, such as limited parking and navigation across the campus’ diverse landscapes, and determine opportunities for growth in underutilized spaces and resources. The resulting Master Land Use plan will aim to enhance the guest experience and celebrate the landscape’s unique history while creating a sustainable, 21st-century campus.

To inform the master planning process, the IMA worked with external consultants over the past year to conduct a series of studies. Studies included identifying and strategizing earned income opportunities, analyzing audience segments in the local market and assessing existing community engagement initiatives.

The project team will utilize the results of these studies, along with their own research, to develop the IMA’s Master Land Use Plan. As part of their analysis, David Rubin LAND COLLECTIVE will meet with various stakeholder groups to gather feedback and better understand their specific needs. A forum for IMA members and the local community will be held on Feb. 5 from 2-4 p.m. in The Toby. For registration and additional information, visit

After the research phase, the master planning team will define the vision and framework for the plan, and make their final recommendations to the IMA’s Board of Governors. The process is set to conclude in summer 2017.

About the Indianapolis Museum of Art

The Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) is located on a 152-acre campus of lush gardens, historic homes, outdoor sculptures, inspiring performance and gallery spaces. Founded in 1883, the IMA is among the 10 oldest and 10 largest encyclopedic art museums in the United States and features significant collections of African, American, Asian, European, contemporary art and design arts that spans 5,000 years of history. With innovative programming to engage guests of all ages, the IMA offers a variety of interactive experiences inside the galleries, throughout the campus and within the local community. From gardening demos in the Madeline F. Elder Greenhouse to outdoor film screenings in the IMA Amphitheater to community celebrations in The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park: 100 Acres, guests are invited to engage with art and nature in exciting new ways at the IMA. Along with the Indianapolis campus, the IMA also owns the Miller House and Garden in Columbus, Ind., one of the nation’s most highly regarded examples of mid-century Modernist residences. For more information, visit

David Rubin LAND COLLECTIVE is a landscape architecture and urban design studio committed to practicing with an emphasis on socially-purposeful design strategies. The studio, founded by David A. Rubin in 2012, is dedicated to crafting landscapes that create positive change through cross-disciplinary collaborations and the synthesis of art, technology and the social sciences to create human-centered works. It is an appreciation for empathy that drives the studio’s design process.

Educated at Connecticut College and Harvard University, David A. Rubin has taught and lectured at a number of institutions, including Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, University of Pennsylvania School of Design and Southern California Institute of Architecture. David is the 2011-12 recipient of the Rome Prize in Landscape Architecture from the American Academy in Rome. His projects have received awards and honors from the American Institute of Architects and the American Society of Landscape Architects, among others.

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